Steve Irwin, star of Animal Planet’s Crocodile Hunter series, was killed Monday in Australia after he was stung in the chest by a stingray.
Irwin, 44, was filming a documentary for Animal Planet called Ocean’s Deadliest when he was stung as he swam over a stingray 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 a barb in his chest,” Discovery Networks U.S. president Billy Campbell said in a prepared statement Monday.
According to local news reports in Australia, Irwin lost consciousness immediately after the rare fatal attack from a stingray.
Discovery said Monday that a doctor onboard Croc One, Irwin’s research vessel, was unable to resuscitate Irwin, and by the time a rescue helicopter reached the scene, Irwin had passed away.
Irwin is survived by his wife Teri, and two children, Bindi Sue, eight, and Robert Clarence, three.
Discovery said Monday that it plans to rename the garden space in front of its Silver, Spring, Md., headquarters the “Steve Irwin Memorial Sensory Garden” to honor Irwin.
The company added that it also create a fund in Irwin’s name to support wildlife protection, education and conservation.