September 2006 (v9 i1)
Drinking Ourselves to Sleep Since 1997
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Famed ‘Stingray Hunter’ savagely eaten by crocodile
Millions of fans stunned by untimely, unforseeable death
by Stephen Short, Associate Editor

Despite how inflated the outer shell is, this
dinosaur’s history of depression indicates
that its ego is rather deflated.
CAMPUS — Famed Australian con-servationist and television personal-ity Jeeves Gurkin was brutally eaten alive Tuesday by a crocodile while filming his new documentary, The World’s Deadliest Reptiles. Gurkin was world-renowned for his exuberant The Stingray Hunter series of docu-mentaries featuring the disruption of natural habitats, eating at Outback Steakhouse, and bare-knuckles sting-ray wrestling.

Friend and cameraman Jack Bowden witnessed Gurkin’s untimely demise.

“Jeeves had just finished a segment where he simultaneously shoved five electric eels into his mouth, when he decided to jump out of our boat to explore the swamp,” recalled Bowden, gazing at a gold-framed portrait of Gurkin. “I warned him we were in croc-infested waters, but he was ada-mant that we keep filming.”

“I think Jeeves said he could hear the heartbeat of a baby koala in a nearby eucalyptus tree, and then that’s when it happened,” explained a now-sobbing Bowden. “He slipped on a broken tree branch and fell into a croc’s incidentally open jaws. It was just a freak accident—there was noth-ing I could do to help my best mate.

”Just as his death came as a surprise to his family and crewmembers, Gur-kin’s loyal fans have expressed feeling shocked and saddened for their sud-den and unexpected loss.

“I just don’t understand how some-one dies from a crocodile bite,” said Kathy Speilman, a long-time Gurkin fan from Peoria, Illinois. “Do you have to agitate it after repeated warn-ings to stop? Maybe the crocodile was just really, really hungry and the only food he could find was the Stingray Hunter.

”Speilman later contended Gurkin was always cautious when handling exotic predators.

“I suppose simultaneously han-dling bull sharks and spitting cobras was just child’s play,” said Speilman. “It’s just a tragedy. Who would have ever thought the Stingray Hunter was going to die from a crocodile bite?

”An exasperated Speilman, who ap-peared to have arrived at the end of her reason, ran her hands through her hair and stared at the floor while adding: “At the zoo they let you pet them for hours, and nothing awful happens.

”Following the death of Jeeves Gur-kin, many experts have come forward to caution that crocodiles are being negatively portrayed in the media.

Herpetologist James Kohen lives half the year in the Australian wet-lands, tracking crocodile mating ritu-als in their native habitat. Although Gurkin died after accidentally tum-bling into a crocodile’s open jaws, Ko-hen claims that crocodiles are gentle creatures.

“I’m afraid the public will now fear crocodiles and maybe even hurt them,” said an exasperated Kohen. “The global herpetology commu-nity is concerned that because of the Stingray Hunter tragedy, people are going to stay away from Australia’s wonderful crocodile-infested swamps and wetlands.

”Kohen stressed: “Of the seven re-ported crocodile-related deaths this year alone, I’m afraid all were caused by humans accidentally falling into a crocodile’s awaiting jaws. If people aren’t careful, I’m just worried that a killing frenzy might start.

”Despite Kohen’s concerns, enraged Gurkin fan Nigel Hawthorne of Mel-bourne, Victoria, has descended upon Australia’s marshes and wetlands to seek revenge against the crocodile which consumed his idol.

“I’m gonna find that croc, and string ‘em up by his tail, I am,” proclaimed Hawthorne, downing a frothy pint of Foster’s. “Once I find that bugger I’ll take him out back and string him up on the barbie.

”Hawthorne added: “Then I’ll put the whole thing on YouTube.”
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