Many news outlets ran unconfirmed reports that the 44-year-old television personality and environmentalist died in a marine accident in North Queensland when stung in the chest by a stingray.
Australian Associated Press (AAP) said the news was official based on unnamed police sources.
Irwin was famous for his catchphrase “Crikey!” AAP also said his American-born wife, Terri, who is trekking on Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, was unaware of the news.
At 2:50 p.m. today, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. had this notice on its site: “Abc.net.au is experiencing higher than normal traffic. You are currently viewing a low bandwidth page. The normal homepage will return when traffic is back to normal.”
Other sites operating on low bandwidth were NineMSN’s ninemsn site, and CNet Networks’ News.com.