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Last Updated: Wednesday September 13 2006 18:14 GMT

Stingrays hurt after Irwin death

Stingray

Lots of stingrays are being hurt in Australia, and it's thought they could be being harmed by fans of animal expert Steve Irwin.

At least 10 of the very peaceful fish have been found dead, some with their stings cut off, in Australia, since he died over a week ago.

Steve died after being stung in the chest by one of the animals.

The plans for a public service to remember Steve have been unveiled, and it should go ahead next Wednesday.

Funeral

People will gather in the Crocoseum section of his Australia Zoo in Queensland, and the service will be shown on TV around the world.

His family were offered a big funeral by the Australian government, but they turned it down because they didn't think it's what he would have wanted.

Stingrays
Stingray
Can weigh up to 1360 kg
Can measure seven metres wide
Related to sharks
Many have a poisonous sting in their tail

Although rays have been harmed before, some people are worried they're being killed in revenge for Steve's death.

People who knew Steve say this is the last thing he would have wanted, as he was very passionate about saving animals.

"We are disgusted and disappointed that people would take this sort of action to hurt wildlife," said Michael Hornby, who runs Steve's charity Wildlife Warriors.

However Paul Hale from the London Aquarium thinks more stingray deaths might be being reported just because people are more aware of the creatures after Steve's death.

Steve's friends and fans will be remembering him in a memorial service next week.



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