Crocodile and baby stunt sparks fury
Australia's celebrity crocodile hunter appears determined his one-month-old son should one day take over the family business.
At his Queensland zoo Steve Irwin held his baby a metre away from the jaws of a crocodile in front of a gasping audience.
But the act - that recalls Michael Jackson's dangling of his child over a hotel balcony - has sparked outrage across Australia.
The Australian Family Association has called the conduct "child abuse" while the telephone lines of radio and television chat shows have been jammed with people calling to express their disapproval.
'Croc savvy' baby
The Childhood Foundation has condemned the move as reckless.
"It's neglect... I don't think we should use children as props, and definitely not in situations that are going to put them in such danger," said the foundation's Joe Tucci.
There has even been suggestion that Mr Irwin should have his Australian of the Year award revoked.
But the crocodile expert has defended his act which included his American wife Terri carrying the baby into the crocodile enclosure.
He says the baby was never in danger and in any case, has to grow up to be "croc savvy".
"I guess what I am doing is teaching him to be completely familiar with crocodiles... There is no way known I would ever endanger my child," he told the Herald Sun newspaper.
According the report, Mr Irwin now faces investigation by the authorities.
Mrs Irwin said her baby enjoyed the experience.
"When I put him back in the pram he had big eyes and he was smiling and it was a wonderful sensory experience for him. He dug it," she said.
i see no problem, the guy obviously knows what he is doin, does he have all his arms? what!?! he does!?!?
how 'bout his legs? :shock: both of them? you sure?
does he have all his toes? yes?
what 'bout his fingers? yes yet again?
sheesh... i guess he does know what he's doing