Authorities gave the video of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's fatal encounter with a stingray to his family and destroyed all copies to prevent the grisly footage from being made public, an Australian state coroner said Thursday.
Irwin, 44, died Sept. 4 after being stabbed in the chest by the stingray's poisonous barb while filming a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast.
Queensland State Coroner Michael Barnes said authorities gave the original video to his wife, Terri, in late December and destroyed other copies.
"The footage has been the subject of widespread media interest and it was wholly appropriate that we took all possible steps to ensure something of such a personal and tragic nature did not fall into the wrong hands," Barnes said in a statement. "This is in line with the wishes of the Irwin family."
Speculation had been rife that footage of Irwin's death could eventually be posted on the Internet.