Top 10 Best Moments on The Crocodile Hunter

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Top 10 Best Moments on The Crocodile Hunter

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Ricky Manson
There was only one Steve Irwin and the best moments on “The Crocodile Hunter” prove it. For this list, we'll be looking at some of Steve Irwin's best accomplishments and encounters from the original “Crocodile Hunter” TV show run, including the specials. Our countdown includes ranger reptiles, family road trip, the fierce snake, and more!
Transcript
Larger than life, there was no greater wildlife warrior than Steve Irwin. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Moments On The Crocodile Hunter.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of Steve Irwin’s best accomplishments and encounters from the original “Crocodile Hunter” TV show run, including the specials.

#10: Ranger Reptiles
“Wildlife in Combat”


At the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, U.S Army Rangers use a massive stretch of land for their training drills and exercises. Of course, the patch of sunshine state real estate is also teaming with wildlife, so the Army brings in Steve and Terri to help in their efforts to limit the soldiers' contact with the various species that populate the base. Steve spends his visit helping remove several venomous snakes the parachuting trainees would inevitably encounter in the terrain. He also takes the opportunity to pass on some of the knowledge he has acquired in his years of experience handling reptiles so that the rangers better understand how to deal with some of the dangerous wildlife. It’s a tactical win for everyone.

#9: Crocodile Conditioning
“Crocs Down Under”


The coexistence of man and nature was always high on Steve’s list, and in Northeast Australia Steve decides to experiment with more “Pavlovian” methods for dealing with problem predators. To stop a nuisance crocodile from coming into contact with fishermen and being shot, Steve captures the big boy in one of his traps. But he then leaves him on the bank overnight, and in an attempt to condition the reptile to associate its capture and imprisonment with people, spends the night driving his motorboat nearby and shining a spotlight: All in hopes that the beast will remember the experience and steer clear of boats in the future. The experiment is a success and a big step forward in preserving the lives of human and croc.

#8: Salvaging a Croc Nest
“Pilot”


Most newlyweds abscond to Hawaii, or perhaps the Maldives, but Steve and Terri spent their honeymoon doing what they love; capturing and rescuing crocodiles along North Queensland, the footage of which would eventually become the pilot episode of “The Crocodile Hunter.” Their adventure takes them through highs and lows; though initially heartbroken at the sight of a bull crocodile shot dead on the banks, and the female's nest ravaged by non-indigenous pigs, the Irwins are elated when they discover a handful of surviving babies, doing their best to recover and release them into the water. It’s an unorthodox yet beautiful showcase of these two animal activists’ love for each other, and the animals they dedicate their lives to saving.

#7: Cancun Crocs
“Crocs in the City”


Steve’s work to limit potential conflicts with humans also takes him to the beautiful cities of Cancun and Tampico. Working with the Mexican authorities, Steve helps to devise a strategy for managing the surprisingly common crocodile presence in these tourist hotspots; testing various crocodile reactions to human presence and responding with appropriate solutions. Again, creativity plays a big part: a local golf course closed one of their holes to accommodate a female nesting in one of the hazards, and Steve takes up a club and pretends to play as a means to get closer to the creatures. Unfortunately, whilst being an expert in croc captures, he doesn’t quite have the “drive” for the sport. He should have traded tips with Happy Gilmore.

#6: Family Road Trip
“Steve Irwin's Great Escape: US National Parks”


If there was anything that could rival Steve’s love for animals, it was his love for his family. In this special, Steve and his family take a road trip through seven of the most beautiful national parks in the United States from North Dakota to Texas, playing with and teaching his children about wildlife and sharing with the viewers a look at his life as a dad. Watching young Bindi and Robert explore America’s incredible landscapes and rich history with their parents, it feels like a natural progression from the honeymoon pilot years ago, showing how far Steve and Terri have come and built a life for themselves, full of experiences anyone would be lucky to have.

#5: Orangutan Mothers
“Faces in the Forest”


Steve’s passion didn’t stop at scale-ies and slither-ies: In the disappearing jungles of Sumatra, Southeast Asia, Steve volunteered his services with the rehabilitation of several orangutans. These apes had been in captivity since birth and knew nothing of life in their natural habitat. In an episode full of tree-climbing, mischievous monkey business and... frequent urination… Steve is privileged to have close encounters with trusting orangutan mothers, who allow Steve to handle and play with their young ones freely. These heartwarming scenes, along with the sad news that one pregnant mother died shortly after the episode aired, help to drive home Steve’s message regarding an understanding and empathy of animals, and the preservation of their natural homes.

#4: Super Croc!
“Search for a Super Croc”


In the Animal Kingdom, bigger IS better. Steve and his team go on the hunt for some of the biggest crocs yet as part of a scientific project; attaching satellite transmitters to the enormous reptiles’ backs before releasing them, in order to track their journeys across stretches of water. In his team’s attempt to restrain a saltwater crocodile over seventeen feet in length, the largest croc he ever caught, Steve suffers a broken rib following a nasty headbutt, shrugging it off following the successful tagging and release. A proud Steve uses the "super croc" to explain how important it is that these large animals are not targeted by trophy hunters, but allowed to live, reproduce, and pass on the best genes to future generations.

#3: The Fierce Snake
“The Ten Deadliest Snakes in the World”


Reaching number one on his list of world's most venomous snakes, Steve comes quite literally face to face with a female Inland Taipan, known colloquially as the Fierce Snake. Despite the ominous handle, Steve wants to prove how harmless these serpents can be if left alone, to the point he travels far into the Australian outback without any of the lifesaving anti-venom on hand. It’s a breath-holding moment to watch, as the snake gets close enough to him to administer a bite venomous enough to kill a hundred adult men, but Steve proves his point; remaining composed and respectful, not provoking the girl, he is able to hold his ground and suffer nothing more than a lick on the face.

#2: East Timor Crocodile Rescues
“Crocodiles of the Revolution”


In war, everyone suffers, including nature. Steve joins his friend Wes in East Timor following the brutal conflict for independence, where the United Nations is helping the locals rebuild. Steve and Wes divert all of their efforts into rehoming two crocodiles living in abhorrent conditions; a female barely moving in a bacteria-infested ditch, and a large aggressive male trapped in a concrete reservoir. As the crocodile is a sacred animal in Timorese culture, the crocs’ well-being is treated as an extension of the city's healing, and the locals support both the rescue efforts and the construction of clean enclosures. For everyone involved, it’s a moral triumph and serves to highlight not man’s destructive capabilities, but their unity in what comes after.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

The Island of Komodo Dragons
"Steve and the Dragon"

Snake Abuse
“Surfing Snakes”

Sending Bonnie Home
“Tigers Of Shark Bay”

Deep Dive Dream
“Swimming with Alligators”

#1: Steve Saves Wes
“Graham’s Revenge”


Steve has saved countless animals during his life, but not many know he also saved the life of his best friend. Steve recounts the time Wes took a bite during a flash flood when cleaning debris out of Graham’s enclosure. Graham is the meanest croc in the zoo, already having chomped on Steve’s hand in the past. This time around, Wes was the one in his sights, and Graham got a hold of him by the thigh and held on tight. Fortunately, Steve’s quick thinking meant Wes was able to escape with his life and several stitches. It’s easy to see Steve as a lunatic at first glance, but when it mattered most he was always willing to put other’s lives before his own.
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