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No surprise that he came to grief: Greer

Sydney, Sept. 6 (Reuters): Feminist academic Germaine Greer has said she hoped the death of Australian “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin would mark the end of what she called exploitative nature documentaries, a dis cordant note amid floods of tributes.

Irwin died in a freak diving accident off Australia’s northeast coast on Monday after he was hit in the chest by the serrated barb from a stingray’s tail.

Echoing comments she made this week in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Australian-born Greer likened Irwin to a lion tamer and said he had intruded on the habitats of animals and treated them with “massive insensitivity”.

“It’s no surprise that he came to grief,” Greer told Nine Network television.

“We now have enough respect for lions to be embarrassed if we see someone trying to crack whips at them and wave chairs at them,” she said.

“Jumping all over crocodiles is the same kind of thing.”

Greer, an award-winning author, is a frequent critic of personalities like British soccer star David Beckham and social trends like reality television.

Irwin’s death has prompted outpourings of grief and sympathy from around the world, dominating local newspapers and clogging Internet news sites.

His Crocodile Hunter documentaries for US-based television company Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet were seen by tens of millions of viewers around the world.

Greer said she found the Irwin phenomenon “embarrassing”, although she understood the sadness at his death.

“I’m not saying that’s not sad, I’m saying what might be over now is this kind of exploitation of animals,” Greer said.

“I am sick and tired of programmes that tell me that the world is full of wicked, nasty, powerful, deadly creatures. Why does Australia set itself up to be made into this hellhole'” she said.

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