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Me with a Black racer at Lake Jocassee, SC.
My name is Steve O'Neil (aka "CrotalusRex" within the Geocaching community). I am a naturalist and environmental educator and at Earthshine Mountain Lodge in Lake Toxaway, NC. I designed my first Geocoin in memory of the late Steve Irwin--The Crocodile Hunter. The coin was called the Crikey! Fundraiser Geocoin and it's purpose was to to raise money for Steve Irwin's wildlife conservation organization Wildlife Warriors Worldwide. Like Steve Irwin, I am also passionate about wildlife and nature conservation and education and I wanted to do something that would not only raise money for wildlife conservation but something that would spread Steve's message of wildlife conservation around the world--the Crikey! Fundraiser Geocoin. I followed Steve's career through his shows on animal planet since they began. When Steve Irwin died I simply did not believe it. The full magnitude of what had happened didn't sink in right away. After reading about it online I wandered out in the forest behind my house and felt numb to everything. A while later it all hit me like a charging bull Elephant--I cried, held my wife close and would not let go of her for a long time. I felt as if I had lost a true friend or family member although I had never personally met Steve Irwin.
My nephew Cody helps me with a Timber Rattlesnake.
Steve Irwin was my hero. He was my greatest inspiration to continue to follow my dream of working with wildlife conservation and environmental education. I truly believe that the world lost a mighty voice for wildlife and wild places when he left us. I will never really understand why this has happened but what I do know is that Steve made a great impact on this earth, he helped countless animals survive, he preserved vast tracts of wildlife habitat and land from development, he educated millions of people about the importance of wildlife and wild places and he had a great positive impact on millions of animal and nature loving children and adults everywhere and he will be so greatly missed by so many Wildlife Warriors the world over.
Now more than ever, those of us who are left...those of us who have been gifted with the love, the understanding and the passion to bring Nature knowledge to the masses--we have a challenge, a goal and a true purpose to take action and not let Steve's death be the end of
We must fight tooth and claw, hoof and horn to inspire people to see, hear and to understand how wonderful, beautiful and important Nature, wildlife and wild places are to the healthy functioning of this Earth.
From one wildlife warrior to another--my honest and deepest thoughts and prayers go out to you Terri, Bindi Sue, Robert, Bob, Wes and John and all of the rest of the Australia Zoo family in my sorrow for your incredible loss.
Steve Irwin's wildlife conservation message changed my world and inspired me greatly to continue to follow my lifelong dream of working with wildlife conservation and education.
Check out the Ctenosaur I caught on the porch of my bungalow while on a trip to Costa Rica a few years ago.
Please feel free to add me as a friend on Facebook but please send me a note in your friend request that you know me through the Turtle Tracks coin--thanks.
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." - Aldo Leopold
Me and "Softy" the Spiny softshell turtle that I released back into the wild during the late summer of 2007.
My beautiful wife Marian and I camping in the Shining Rock Wilderness area near Brevard, NC during the late summer of 2004--we are grinning big because I had just popped the question a few hours earlier while we were picking wild blueberries on the side of a 6000' mountain!
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