PETA gets blasted on Twitter after response to Steve Irwin Google doodle

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PETA is facing criticism over its response to a Google doodle dedicated to animal conservationist Steve Irwin, BuzzFeed reports.

The doodle celebrated what would have been Irwin’s 57th birthday on Thursday. But PETA weighed in with scathing words.

“#SteveIrwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile & wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business,” PETA tweeted Friday. “Today’s #GoogleDoodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats.”

Folks on Twitter—including celebrities—took offense to tweets, and some called out PETA for being insensitive to Irwin’s family.

“So your response here is this Human deserved what he got and is better off dead?!” Drake Bell tweeted. “You are a disgusting organization and and should be absolutely ashamed!! He was a FATHER and a HUSBAND and did WAY more for wild life conservation than the IDIOT INTERN hired to write this tweet!”

“You do realize his wife and children will see this, don’t you? I also believe grieving family members should be respected enough to be left alone from shitty commentary on a tragic death—or is compassion and empathy simply left only for animals?” wrote The View host Meghan McCain.

One Twitter user pointed out that dragging PETA even garnered nonpartisan support.

Irwin, dubbed the Crocodile Hunter after his hit ’90s tv series, is often thought of as an animal activist and lover himself. He died in 2006 after a stingray stung him in the heart heart during filming of a series called Ocean’s Deadliest.

https://twitter.com/googledownunder/status/1098705553327439873?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.buzzfeed.com%2Fishabassi%2Fpeta-response-steve-irwin-google-doodle

BuzzFeed reports that PETA’s president, Ingrid Newkirk, issued an official response to the doodle:

PETA must ask who commissioned these dangerous, hagiographic cartoons of a man who died while harassing a stingray, dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile, and “wrestled” wild animals who were minding their own business. This fawning, ignorant tribute is a slap in the face to the vast majority of people who acknowledge that wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats.

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H/T BuzzFeed

Eilish O'Sullivan

Eilish O'Sullivan

Eilish O'Sullivan is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism and government at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.