Two Messengers, One Message: Wildlife Warriors Joins Michael's Chorus of "Earth Song"
It is with great pride and excitement that I have the privilege to announce a new partnership between the Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait and Wildlife Warriors, an organization started by Steve and Terri Irwin in 2002. Upon contacting Kirby Orr, Communications Director of Wildlife Warriors, I was honored to learn that they have accepted our invitation to align themselves with our mission to continue Michael’s legacy of exceptional humanitarian work.
The partnership we have formed will honor not only Michael’s dream of a better world by teaching how to improve our environment and preserve wildlife and natural habitats. It also will honor the global mission of another brilliant man whose presence is dearly missed, Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter. Steve’s untimely passing four years ago at the age of 44 left the world with heavy hearts as did Michael’s untimely passing last year. Steve Irwin’s wife Terri and children, Bindi and Bob, continue to work tirelessly toward conservation with the extremely dedicated "Zoo Crew" of Australia Zoo.
Michael Jackson and Steve Irwin had very different career roles. However, they had a common bond in their passionate dedication to saving our planet from destruction. Michael was the exceptional humanitarian who acted as the "mirror" of our actions, calling our attention to how society has taken so much from the earth, depleting many of its natural resources and disturbing the delicate balance of nature. This message was very dear to his heart and presented beautifully and effectively in his short film, "Earth Song." Steve was the exceptionally passionate conservationist who dedicated his life to the field of animal rescue, environmental preservation, research and public education.
Among the many roles Steve had taken on, one of the most important missions he embraced was to become the mediator between wildlife and humans. He realized that wildlife is often senselessly killed because of dangerous interaction occurring between wildlife and humankind. People intrude on the natural habitat of animals such as crocodiles, presenting a dangerous situation which often results in people getting seriously injured or even killed. In turn, people will hunt the animals that have been known to harm humans in order to remove the threat of injury or death. This response is one of the causes of animal extinction and the upset of the balance of nature. The practice of intervention, started by Steve Irwin and his father Robert Irwin forty years ago, was instrumental in relocating beautiful animals like crocodiles to remote places away from people, thus decreasing the chance of human interaction with large predatory creatures.
Drawing upon years of intense animal research in countless locations all over the world, Steve and Terri Irwin dedicated much of their time to educating people about nature through their entertaining and informative "Crocodile Hunter" TV series. They taught about many different animal species, helping the viewer to overcome the fear of certain animals and to realize both their beauty and the value of their role in nature. Steve Irwin referred to himself as a "Wildlife Warrior," defined by him as "one who is engaged in battle." Bravely facing the challenges of animal and environmental protection each day, Steve worked unceasingly toward a better future for wildlife and for our planet.
Born from Steve and Terri’s dream of conservation, Wildlife Warriors was established to include caring individuals whose desire it is to support their mission. Today, Wildlife Warriors continues to take part in animal rescue, habitat protection, public education, research, and activities to help counteract the threat of extinction in endangered species as a charity organization sponsored by Australia Zoo.
We are pleased to announce that in the coming months we will be receiving news articles from our friend, Kirby Orr, at Wildlife Warriors. These articles will inform and educate us on Wildlife Warriors’ current conservation efforts, and how we can become involved in helping to continue their excellent work.
In the fifteen months that have swiftly passed since Michael’s unexpected and untimely death, his fans have been dealing with the shock and grief of their lost King. In a situation such as this, first we cry. Crying is the first stage in healing, and I truly believe that is exactly what Michael meant when he released his song "Cry." It was a call to action from Michael to the world stating that the healing that needs to take place can begin "if we all cry at the same time." Since Michael’s passing, as each nation is unified in tears, we must ask ourselves where to go from here. One of the messages I clearly received in watching the footage from the This Is It documentary was Michael’s desire to show the world what we stand to lose in a very short time if we don’t take positive action to help our planet recover from the damage done by man. Michael went through extensive planning to present his beautiful "Earth Song" in a way that would touch the hearts of his fans so we would walk away from his concerts with a sense of duty, determined to repair what has been destroyed, and to prevent further damage or extinction of animal species. Furthermore, he presented his message with the help of a little girl in his "Earth Song" short film, reminding us that the actions we must take today are our gift to the future of our children.
Honoring what meant the most to Michael, I urge all of you to do your part in taking our future into your hands. It is time for the "Army of L.O.V.E." that Michael has created to join together all over the world and work hand in hand with Wildlife Warriors. It is time to do all that we can to help create a brighter future for everyone. Michael told us in his song "HIStory," "Every day create your history. Every path you take, you’re leaving your legacy." Think about the future. How would you like to be remembered after your time on earth is done? What legacy will you leave, and how will the world have been left a better place because you were here? Steve Irwin and Michael Jackson certainly have done their part in making us aware of what needs to be done. The question is: "Will You Be There?"