At least 10 stingrays have been killed since "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin was fatally injured by one of the fish, an official said yesterday, prompting a spokesman for the late TV star's animal charity to urge people not take revenge on the animals.
Irwin died last week after a stingray barb pierced his chest as he recorded a show off the Great Barrier Reef.
Stingray bodies since have been discovered on two beaches in Queensland state on Australia's eastern coast. Two were discovered yesterday with their tails lopped off, the AP reports.
Michael Hornby, executive director of the Wildlife Warrior fund and a friend of Mr. Irwin's, said the killings could be in retaliation for his death, but if that was the case the behaviour flew in the face of everything his friend believed in, the National Post says.
"We just want to make it very clear that we will not accept and not stand for anyone who's taken a form of retribution. That's the last thing Steve would want," he said. "Stingrays are beautiful creatures and play an important role for the environment."
Stingrays aren't aggressive and sting only when threatened, Bryan Fry, deputy director of the Australian Venom Research Unit, said Sept. 4. The fisheries department has encountered “isolated incidences” in the past of stingrays having their tails removed, department biologist Wayne Sumpton said in a statement, Bloomberg reports.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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