SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ At least 10 stingrays have been killed since “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin was fatally injured by one of the fish, an official said Tuesday, 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 Tuesday with their tails lopped off, state fisheries department official Wayne Sumpton said.
Sumpton said fishermen who inadvertently catch the diamond-shaped rays sometimes cut off their tails to avoid being stung, but the practice was uncommon. Stingrays often are caught in fishing nets by mistake and should be returned to the sea, Sumpton said.
Michael Hornby, the executive director of Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors conservation group, said he was concerned the rays were being hunted and killed in retaliation for Irwin’s death.