National Wildlife Day – February

The History of National Wildlife Day

National Wildlife Day was first celebrated in 2006 as a commemoration of Steve Irwin, the famous conservationist, and Australian TV host. Until this year, this holiday was celebrated on the day the world lost him, dying from a stingray to the heart. Steve Irwin was 44 years old and the date was the 4th of September 2006.

national wildlife day visual representation

From the year, 2018, the National Wildlife Day will permanently change the date of celebration and from now on it will be celebrated on the 22nd of February, Steve Irwin’s birthday.

Who Was Steve Irwin?

Steve Irwin was a renowned Australian wildlife conservationist, actor, producer, and television personality. He is someone who has impacted the lives of people all across the world in one way or another.

Although he died when he was 44 years old due to a stingray barb piercing his chest in 2006, he leaves behind an impactful legacy through his work for animals and nature at large.

Numerous children have been inspired by Steve Irwin to take up animal studies or wildlife preservation because of his charismatic personality and legacy.

Steve Irwin was born on the 22nd of February 1962 in Essendon, Victoria to Lyn and Bob Irwin. As a child, he was not so good at his studies and instead loved to be around animals.

He started off as a reptile enthusiast at the tender age of four years when he arrived at an animal shelter with his father. This is where he got to hold a snake for the first time. He handled that snake successfully until it bit him.

What is National Wildlife Day All About?

Besides honoring Steve Irwin, we celebrate this day to raise awareness of the growing number of endangered and extinct species nationally and globally, to remind everybody of the demise of the animals each year and that we desperately need to make drastic and global changes.

This holiday inspires citizens to stand up and raise their voice for those that are speechless, to fight for the rights of animals, and to try to make a difference one day at a time. This holiday also encourages people who can donate or sponsor animals at their local Zoo or animal sanctuary.

How to Observe and Celebrate National Wildlife Day

It’s the day to celebrate the animals, plants, and natural habitats that are so integral to our lives. It’s also a day to learn about all of these amazing creatures and how they affect our world. This day is designed to give people an appreciation for our wild world and how it contributes to all life on Earth.

One of the best ways to celebrate National Wildlife Day is by completing an activity that will help you connect better with nature.

  • Volunteer at a local no-kill shelter. These shelters always need an extra pair of hands and all the help they can get.
  • If your state has an animal sanctuary, volunteer there.
  • Be a part of WWF’s adventure tours. Their focus is on wildlife and conservation.
WWF logo
  • Suggest to your local zoo, school, or library to host a non-profit event and educate children about the importance of wildlife and conservation.
  • Spread the word on social media and inspire someone to help
  • Watching a documentary about coyotes or prairie dogs
  • Going on a hike or walk
  • Catching and releasing a fish
  • Kissing your partner as someone else would kiss a tree

Some people celebrate National Wildlife Day by taking a walk and watching critters. Others hunt and bagged some wild game on this day. And some just sit on the couch and watch TV while their pets keep them company.

But it is also important to remember that we cannot protect wildlife without protecting our natural resources — air, land, water, and the remaining habitats of the earth.

Happy National Wildlife Day and Happy birthday Steve!