Evidently he pulled the barb out of his heart himself. Yikes. I wonder if one situation would be worse than another (leaving it there, pulling it out) -- probably not.
JPB, I know what you mean, I was saying something similar with "wasn't very surprised" and "His show is all about taking huge risks with wild animals."
I was ready to be pissed at him (in the sense of leaving his wife and children bereft, if nothing else) if a croc finally got him, or a snake for that matter -- the kinds of death-defying risks he regularly took. Death by stingray is staggeringly rare, though.
I am not sure that a lot of the risk was not more apparent than real.
He had handled the beasties for a long time, and was clearly very good at judging critical distance and watching what was gonna happen...also had lots of people around him when he did that stuff for the camera.
Handling any animals has its risks....but I really think the risks looked worse than they were.
As with the hullabaloo about the baby in the croc pen thing.....a lot of the camera angles made the croc look closer than it was.
I was most worried about the baby's neck not being supported.
Yes...I suspect pulling the barb out was instinctive....I do hope he was too shocked to feel a lot of pain. That is horrid.