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Last Updated: Wednesday September 06 2006 16:15 GMT

Irwin's dad 'lost his best mate'

Steve Irwin

The dad of Steve Irwin - the Crocodile Hunter - has spoken to the public for the first time since his son died.

The animal expert and TV presenter died when he was stung in the chest by a fish called a stingray while filming.

His father, Bob, said he had lost "his best mate" and that he had died doing something that he loved.

He said that Steve, 44, would not have wanted a big funeral because he was "an ordinary bloke" who would not have liked all the fuss.

"I'm a lucky, lucky guy that I've had the opportunity to have a son like Steve," said Bob Irwin.

A girl writes a tribute on a shirt like Steve Irwin wore
His dad also thanked the thousands of people from all over the world who had sent special messages after Steve's death in the freak accident off the coast of Australia.

Fans have also visited his zoo in Queensland to leave flowers and to pay their respects.

Steve had been in many dangerous situations, wrestling with some of the world's most dangerous creatures while making his Crocodile Hunter documentaries, which were watched by 200 million people.

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