Well, it's been all over the news up here in Canada, and I believe
I've seen a couple US talk shows featuring it while hanging around the livingroom.
Now this is a hard thing to debate, but IMO, the man is a professional
. I mean, so far I haven't met a single person who hasn't known about him. He is famous for being able to be around these dangerous animals, and crocs in particular, and hardly ever get burned. Now so far I haven't heard about that particular animal's relationship with Steve. Perhaps it's one he's been performing with for a particularly long time, and feels very safe with, which is really what I think the case must
be, as despite his own recklessness, he seems to be very fond of his family and doesn't strike me as the type of man who would put his children in a particularly precarious situation.
If it was an amateur, or some croc he wasn't very familiar with, I'd be much more angry about it, but as it is, I think the point is (assuming it's one he's familiar with), he knew that there was little chance of his child being hurt, and it's not like he doesn't have assistants etc, etc if the animal gets riled up.
And as far as what katiger
mentioned, about the whole "better to be burned once and know than to be sheltered and curious" deal, I mean seriously is there any debate? I mean, as soon as this kid's old enough to understand (I mean I think it's not old enough to talk yet, it didn't look so, but maybe I'm just ignorant of the whole learning-to-speak process), Steve and his wife will be telling the kid that yes these things are dangerous, but you should be CAUTIOUS, not afraid, so long as you learn all you can. And yes, agreed, caution does demand a certain degree of fear, but not so much that you're terrified of making the wrong move.
The difference between what would happen if his kid met a croc after being sheltered from them all his/her life in the wild, and what would happen if Steve continues the learning and familiarity he's enforcing now and he/she met a croc in the wild is that the sheltered kid would pretty much be "Alright, I'm dead" and the expert kid would make an effort to survive and would KNOW how to make their best chance of survival.
So, all in all, yes it was risky, yes it was controversial, and yes he could have killed/seriously injured his kid, but let's face it, we're all dying from the moment we first exist and any moment something could unexpectedly kill us, we could be hit by a car, the sun could explode, we could have heart attack ... nothing's impossible, and fear just makes your moments of life unbearable.