Steve Irwin is in hot water again, this time for an alleged environmental gaffe

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 14, 2004 08:10 AM

Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, who earlier this year held his 1-month-old son Bob in one arm while he fed a jaw-snapping croc with the other, is hearing from critics again.

This time it’s for his allegedly environmentally unfriendly act of swimming with two whales in the ocean off Antarctica and getting too close to penguins and seals, reports the Associated Press.

Australian environmental authorities reportedly are investigating Irwin, 42, over allegations that he breached regulations governing the safe proximity between humans and wildlife in the Antarctic.

The croc guy denies any wrongdoing, claiming he only climbed onto an iceberg after his dry suit ripped while his TV production company was shooting the whales – with their cameras.

“My dry suit had ripped, so it was leaking water, and here’s this iceberg, a little iceberg … so I grabbed hold of the iceberg and I’m sitting on the iceberg while these whales are just all over us,” said Irwin.

He called reports of his latest clash with authorities “just a big storm in a tea cup.”

Parliamentary environment secretary Sharman Stone confirmed to AP that Irwin’s company was granted approval to film whales but not to have Irwin get in the water and pet the animals.