Steve Irwin, the legendary star of The Crocodile Hunter, was cruelly killed by a stingray in 2006.
But his legacy lives on, both via the viewers who grew up watching his wildlife shows and through his family, who has continued his crucial conservation work at the Australia Zoo, striving to safeguard native wildlife.
And, 15 years after Steve’s death, his family used the occasion to pay tribute to the late legend and his legacy.
Steve’s daughter Bindi has certainly followed in her famous father’s footsteps.
She’s become one of the biggest names in animal conservation.
She was a child star in the environmental documentary series Bindi the Jungle Girl and currently stars in the reality series Crikey! It’s the Irwins, among other media appearances.
Bindi has also contributed to the crucial job her family has been doing to help local species at their Australia Zoo.
During last year’s horrific Australian bushfires, the family is credited with saving almost 90,000 animals.
She’s also had some huge personal changes: she married her husband Chandler Powell last year and gave birth to her first child, a baby girl named Grace Warrior Irwin Powell, earlier this year.
And on both of these occasions, Bindi paid tribute to her late father, demonstrating how Steve has remained so much in the hearts of his loved ones all these years after.
At her wedding, she lit a candle in memory of Steve and named her baby after him. “[Grace’s] middle names, Warrior Irwin, are a tribute to my dad and his legacy as the most incredible Wildlife Warrior,” Bindi wrote in announcing the birth of her daughter.
And this week, on the 15th anniversary of Steve Irwin’s death, Bindi paid tribute to her father on social media.
In the post, she shared a photo of her now 6-month-old kid, as well as a photo of herself as a toddler with her father.
She expressed grief that her daughter would never meet her grandfather, but she understands that his legacy would continue on through her.
“This sweetheart lights up seeing her ‘Grandpa Crocodile’ on television,” Bindi posted on Twitter. “I wish Dad could embrace my darling girl… I like to think of him as her guardian angel, keeping an eye on the most important aspect of my life, Grace.”
And it’s apparent that Steve’s heritage of caring for wildlife will go on into the next generation: even though she’s only a few months old, baby Grace has already encountered quite a few creatures and enjoys going for walks in nature.
Terri Irwin, Steve’s widow, also paid tribute to her late husband on the anniversary of his passing. “Today is a special day to commemorate Steve’s goal and message,” she posted on Twitter. “He was trying to inspire us to be Wildlife Warriors, defending wildlife and wild places.”
“We can honor his legacy by recognizing that every animal is precious…even those with enormous fangs!” Terri also shared a flashback photo of Steve with his children, Bindi and Robert, on September 5, which is Father’s Day in Australia.
Steve Irwin left us way too soon. Fifteen years after his death, it’s apparent that his legacy has persisted, and his life had a lasting impact on both his followers and his family. We’re thrilled that the Irwin family has carried on Steve’s goal to safeguard Australia’s wildlife.