“Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin’s final program is complete, but the show about the sea’s deadliest creatures will not include footage from the day he was killed by a stingray, his manager said Saturday.
Irwin died Sept. 4, minutes after a poisonous barb from a stingray’s tail pierced his chest while he was snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef in northern Australia shooting footage for two projects, including one titled “Ocean’s Deadliest.”
Irwin’s final moments were caught on video tape, and were used in a police investigation and coroner’s examination of the death.
The original tape was returned to Irwin’s widow, Terri, and all copies were destroyed, Queensland state Coroner Michael Barnes said earlier this week.
Terri Irwin and close family friend and Irwin’s manager John Stainton, one of few to have seen the footage, have both said it will never be shown publicly.
Stainton on Saturday said “Ocean’s Deadliest” had been completed in line with Irwin’s contract with the Discovery Channel, and would be shown for the first time in the United States on Jan. 21.
The show includes footage taken in the week and days before Irwin’s death.
“Anything to do with the day that he died, that film is not available,” Stainton said.
Finishing the program together was especially difficult because of Irwin’s death, Stainton said.
“The documentary was commissioned, we finished it and it’s going to air,” Stainton said. “It’s been a long and arduous saga ... an emotionally charged time to do an edit on a documentary that did have a deadline, and we did have to honor the deadline,” he said.