The sudden and tragic death of 'crocodile hunter' Steve Irwin, the famed animal conservationist and activist who was known worldwide for his television appearances, shows, and his tireless work with animals, broke the heart of fans around the world. Irwin worked tirelessly to educate the public about the animals he cared for at his zoo and even had his own television series called The Crocodile Hunter. Irwin loved his animals almost as much as he loved his wife and co-worker Terri, daughter Bindi and son Bob, and he often brought his children out with him as he worked at his zoo or doing promotional appearances on television. While the public has missed Irwin's outgoing and vivacious personality over the years, his family has truly mourned the loss of their husband and father the most.
Bindi Irwin spoke to Stellar Magazine and explained that although it's been almost 13 years since she lost her father after he was attacked by a stingray while working on a film, she sometimes still feels overwhelmed with grief at his loss. She explained in the interview that it was just a few weeks before when she was hit with a memory of her father that caused her to stop for a minute. "It was just an ordinary day and we were playing the video where we petition against harvesting of crocodile eggs," she explained of how she was helping out during the crocodile show at the family zoo. "There’s old footage of Dad with the crocodiles and, even though I’ve seen the video maybe 50 times, that day I started crying."
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In less than a week I’ll be 21 and I spoke to Stellar about this milestone. In my life I’ve learned the value of kindness and respect. As a young woman in this social media driven world I’ve found that it’s of utmost importance to be uplifting and encouraging. Stand up for what you believe in and let your light SHINE.
"Some days you feel the grief more than others," the activist, who has carried on her father's legacy by working at the zoo, explained. "What gets to me are those moments when I’d love him to be here to share what we’re doing."
She went on to add that she'll often wish her father was there when her family, including younger brother Bob, who was only two years old when his father died, is celebrating the simple moments together. "It could be when my brother is receiving an accolade for his photography, or it might be at the end of the day when we’re having dinner and laughing. I’ll think: ‘I wish Dad was here for this.’ But he’s just not there."
He may not be there, but it's clear that both Bindi and Bob inherited their father's love of animals and their passion for conservation. "I’m living the dream!" Bindi comments in the interview, asking if she felt pressure to take over her father's work after his death. "How many young people start their day watching a giraffe being born and end the day bottle-feeding a joey kangaroo? I don’t know how I’d cope if I was living in suburbia with a goldfish," she said. "I care about the planet and my destiny is to make a difference. We’re doing it our own way, but you can feel Dad’s spirit in everything we do. I’ve found such comfort in being able to follow in his footsteps," she added.
Bindi's mother Terri tells the magazine that she sees a lot of her late husband in her daughter. "She is surprisingly more like Steve," Terri tells Stellar. "She is a sweet lovely person with a deep soul and a great capacity for empathy," she says. "When it really matters, she will stand up for something. I’ve seen her do something I couldn’t do in a situation where it was really important. She’s a force to be reckoned with," Terri added about her daughter.
As Bindi approaches her 21st birthday she tells the magazine that she is really feeling his absence in her life. "Sometimes I wish I could ask him a question: ‘How would you do this?’ or ‘What do you think about this?’" she said. "He was an incredible sounding board and incredibly wise. I miss that."