Croc Hunter's Dad: No State Funeral

Steve Irwin kisses Kimberly the camel during cross country train promotion in Sydney in this June 19, 2006 file photo. Irwin, the Australian television personality and environmentalist known as the Crocodile Hunter, was killed Monday, Sept. 4, 2006, by a stingray barb during a diving expedition. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, file) AP

"Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, killed in a freak stingray attack this week, would not have accepted a state funeral because he wanted to be remembered as "an ordinary bloke," the TV star's father said Wednesday.

In the first public comments by Irwin's family since the hugely popular naturalist died Monday, Bob Irwin thanked his son's many fans for their messages of support, and said his son had died doing what he loved.

The 44-year-old TV star was on camera for a new program as he snorkeled with a stingray on the Great Barrier Reef, when it lashed out with its tail, plunging a poisonous barb into his chest. Irwin died minutes later.

Separately Wednesday, Irwin's manager and close friend John Stainton said videotape showing him being fatally stabbed should never be publicly aired.

"It should be destroyed," Stainton, who has seen the footage and said it showed Irwin pulling the barb from his chest in his last moments, told CNN's "Larry King Live."

The tape is now in the possession of police as evidence for a coroner.

"When that is finally released, it will never see the light of day. Ever. Ever. I actually saw it, but I don't want to see it again," Stainton said.

The Discovery Channel, which produced and aired Irwin's programs to a reported global audience of more than 200 million, said it will not show the footage.

Thousands of fans have flocked to Irwin's wildlife park in Australia's Queensland state, Australia Zoo, creating a shrine of flowers and written tributes. Prime Minister John Howard said a state funeral was appropriate, calling him a great ambassador for Australia.

Bob Irwin said a state funeral wouldn't be what Steve wanted.

"He's an ordinary guy, and he wants to be remembered as an ordinary bloke," said Bob Irwin. "The state funeral would be refused."

Bob Irwin, who started the wildlife park that his son turned into a major tourist attraction, said Steve realized his work was dangerous and that he could die doing it.

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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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