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Australians blast Greer for Irwin barb

Deutsche Presse Agentur | September 5 2006

Sydney- Australians were outraged Wednesday over feminist writer Germaine Greer's claim that the death of wildlife documentary maker Steve Irwin was payback from the animal world. "Every creature he brandished at the camera was in distress," Australian expatriate Greer wrote in an article in London's Guardian newspaper. "The animal kingdom has finally taken its revenge."

The celebrated Crocodile Hunter, 44, died Monday while filming on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland when a stingray's barb pierced his heart.

The Labor Party's Kevin Rudd, opposition spokesman on foreign affairs, urged Greer to hold her tongue.

"You've got a grieving mother, you've got a couple of grieving young kids and a grieving nation, and what do you get from Germaine Greer? You get a bucket-load of politically correct pap - it's just nonsense," Rudd told reporters in Canberra.

"Steve Irwin was a nature conservationist, an animal conservationist, and made a huge contribution to the preservation of wildlife worldwide."

Greer, an academic who left her native Australia in the 1960s, had written: "The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing 10 times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire, animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn."

Police who seized video footage of Irwin's final moments said he was near the stingray but had not touched or provoked it in any way.

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