Steve Irwin, the legendary late conservationist, died 14 years ago
Fourteen years ago, the world mourned the loss of beloved on-screen figure and conservationist, Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. Of course, none were more devastated Irwin’s own family, who recently shared their own moving tributes on the 14th anniversary of Irwin’s death.
“You’re always in my heart,” Irwin’s daughter, Bindi Irwin, shared on social media yesterday along with a photo of her and her dad on the beach. Bindi, now 22 years old, was just 8 when her dad died after being attacked by a stingray in 2006.
Bindi previously told People that the death of her father was like “losing a part of [her] heart.”
“I remember people coming up to me and saying, ‘I’m sorry for your loss, sweetheart. Time heals all wounds.’ But that’s just not true,” she told the publication. “It’s like losing a part of your heart, and when you’ve lost that, you never get it back.”
Steve’s son, Robert, also paid tribute to his father, writing that he’s continuing his dad’s life work.
“Today marks the end of our annual crocodile research trip to the #SteveIrwinWildlifeReserve,” Robert wrote, adding that, over the last month, they caught 39 crocodiles, bringing the total tagged crocs count to 213.
“This research was all started by Dad, and to this day, we still use the same methods of capture that he created,” Robert continued. “Our crocodile research began 17 years ago when Australia Zoo joined forces with the University of Queensland to conduct world leading science and lead the charge in crocodile conservation. And today we get to keep this vital work going, using state of the art solar tracking technology to learn even more about these amazing animals make sure Dad’s mission and passion for croc conservation continues!”
Robert’s tweet even caught the eye of Russell Crowe, who retweeted it with the caption, “That hair though … hahaha.”
Of course, the tribute that might simultaneously break and warm your heart is Steve’s wife of 14 years before his untimely passing, Terri.
“This is a particularly poignant moment in time for me,” Terri captioned a sweet, black-and-white photo of the couple kissing — with an iguana propped atop of their heads. “Today marks 14 years since I lost Steve, after 14 wonderful years of marriage. I feel that I have a choice: celebrate love or struggle with grief. I choose love.”
Terri also shared a few more photos of their time exploring together, writing, “I’m remembering the wonderful filming adventures Steve & I had when we were waiting for the arrival of our dear Bindi. It’s so wonderful that now @BindiIrwin and @chandlerpowell9 are expecting! I am so happy for them and feel incredibly blessed.”
Bindi announced her pregnancy on Aug. 11 along with a photo of her and husband, Chandler Powell, holding up a baby explorer button-up — both soon-to-be-parents beaming with joy.
“Baby Wildlife Warrior due 2021,” the future mom wrote. “Chandler and I are proud to announce that we’re expecting! It’s an honour to share this special moment in our lives with you.”
Since his passing, Bindi, Robert, Terri have continued to keep Steve’s memory and campaigns alive by — in addition to working at their Australia Zoo — traveling the world promoting his charity, Wildlife Warriors, which aims to educate people about endangered species.
“I sure hope dad would be proud,” Bindi told People. “We really do try every day to make him proud and follow in his footsteps. I hope that somewhere he’s out there going, ‘Yes! You did good!'”
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