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Steve Irwin: PETA Fires off Controversial Tweet About 'Crocodile Hunter' Star's Death

PETA is facing another social media controversy in wake of a statement on late wildlife expert Steve Irwin's birthday.

The issue began when Google honored Irwin, who was best known for his reality show The Crocodile Hunter, on what would have been his 57th birthday with Google Doodle artwork on their home page. Irwin, father of actress/wildlife personality Bindi Irwin, was killed by a sting ray in September 2006 as he filmed the documentary Ocean's Deadliest.

When PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) discovered the homage, they lashed on Twitter, claiming that Irwin was "harassing" the sting ray that killed him and that Google's promotion was "dangerous." They also referenced Steve's infamous 2004 video that showed himself holding his then-1-year-old son as he fed a crocodile.

"Steve Irwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile [and] wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business," a PETA representative wrote. "Today’s Google Doodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats."

After drawing large amount so backlash due to the initial tweet, PETA doubled down by adding two more messages that were critical of Steve's career.

"Steve Irwin’s actions were not on target with his supposed message of protecting wildlife," a PETA rep wrote. "A real wildlife expert [and] someone who respects animals for the individuals they are leaves them to their own business in their natural homes. It is harassment to drag exotic animals, including babies taken from their mothers, around from TV talk shows to conferences [and] force them to perform as Steve Irwin did. Animals deserve to live as they want to, not as humans demand–the Google Doodle should represent that."

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PETA has received widespread condemnation for their remarks about the deceased Animal Planet personality, but has not walked back or taken down their statements as of press time.

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