PETA under fire over 'disrespectful' Steve Irwin tweet

Animals rights activist group PETA has come under fire for criticising Steve Irwin just a day after the Crocodile Hunter would have celebrated his 57th birthday.

Google celebrated Irwin’s birthday on Friday (local time) with a series of cartoons depicting the late wildlife warrior and entertainer with his family.

PETA took exception to the cartoons and took to Twitter criticising Irwin and Google for the cartoons.

PETA has come under fire for criticising Steve Irwin after Google released cartoons celebrating what would have been his 57th birthday on Friday. Irwin is pictured here in front of Uluru in a promo for TV channel Animal Planet. Source: AAP

“Steve Irwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile and wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business,” PETA tweeted.

“Today’s Google Doodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats.”

In a series of tweets, PETA continued to criticise Irwin adding his “actions were not on target” with protecting wildlife and accusing him of “harassment”.

While the tweet was liked more than 930 times some have criticised PETA.

“What the f*** is wrong with you? Steve Irwin practised what he preached which was conservation. His work continues today despite his tragic death,” one man wrote.

A woman added the PETA’s initial tweet ignored Irwin’s charity work, the animals he helped and people he educated.

“PETA, you are wrong to disrespect such a wonderful man,” she tweeted.

Steve Irwin with wife Terri promoting the movie The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course in LA in 2002. Source: AAP

One man suggested Irwin “did more for animals” than PETA “ever will”.

PETA hit back at some of the criticism.

“Wrestling wild animals who want to be left alone is not how to show respect,” PETA tweeted.

Irwin’s children Bindi and Bob are held by Terri at a memorial service for him at Australia Zoo not long after his death in 2006. Source: AAP

PETA and Australia Zoo, which is owned by Irwin’s family, have been contacted for comment.

Last month, PETA stirred up controversy after barbecuing a fake dog in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall in a bid to stop people eating meat this Australia Day.

However, the stunt was poorly received by many passers-by who found the scene distressing for young children on school holidays.

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