Maybe it's the fact that "home page" is to "browser" as "Animal Planet" is to "our television". Maybe it's because I've called him crazy so many times, I feel like he's a member of my own family. But hearing this news yesterday morning filled me with inexplicable sadness:

Statement from Billy Campbell, President, Discovery Networks, U.S. Discovery Communications, Inc.

Our entire company is deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. Steve was beloved by millions of fans and animal lovers around the world and was one of our planet's most passionate conservationists. He has graced our air since October 1996 and was essential in building Animal Planet into a global brand.

Steve was killed during a filming expedition on the Great Barrier Reef.
While we are still collecting specific details, it was a rare accident in which Steve swam over a stingray and was stung by its barb in his chest. A doctor on board Croc One, Steve's research vessel, was unable to resuscitate Steve and by the time he was reached by the rescue helicopter he had passed away.

DCI Founder and Chairman, John Hendricks said, "Steve was a
larger than life force. He brought joy and learning about the natural world to millions and millions of people across the globe. He was a true friend to all of us at Discovery Communications. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Terri, Bindi and Bob Irwin as well as to the incredible staff and many friends Steve leaves behind."

I keep flashing back to a few days after September 11, 2001 when I happened to see a 20 second spot with Steve Irwin making a few brief remarks about the events that had happened in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Expressing his sympathy for the United States and friendship with it's citizens, he ended with "I'm sincerely sorry, mate."

We are too, Terri, Bindi and Bob.