He’s remembered as one of Australia’s most popular TV presenters and animal ‘whisperers’, but to Bindi Irwin, he was primarily a loving father and mentor. Now, more than a decade after his tragic death in 2006, the 20-year-old has continued to keep his memory alive with a moving tribute to her famous father.
On Saturday, the budding conservationist took to Instagram to share a photo of her parents holding her hands when she was just a toddler.
Bindi captioned the photo: “Reflecting on this special moment. Holding hands and learning to walk in the heart of Australia. I’m thankful every day for the unconditional love and support of my wonderful parents. My guiding lights, always.”
Fans loved the heartwarming post, with one commenting: “The way he looked at you, Robert and your mum is just the most beautiful display of pure love!”
Another added: “Your dad is your guiding light for sure… always with you!”
A third wrote: “Bindi, you were so blessed to have the more beautiful parents. Your father was a very blessed and gifted man.”
Meanwhile, Robert Irwin proved he’s definitely following in his father’s footsteps, during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last month.
The budding conservationist, 15, who has appeared on the show regularly over the past two years, took the opportunity to discuss his family’s conservation efforts with their famed Wildlife Warriors organisation and to address crocodile culling in Australia.
Appearing alongside his mother, Terri, and sister, Bindi, he said: “In Australia, crocs have now been really on the decline. Their eggs are being taken and harvested to be turned into meat. So we’re really working hard to really change society’s perspective on conservation because ultimately it’s about us as well.”
Speaking about the organisation, which his parents established in 2002, Robert added: “Mum and dad first started it as a way to unite everyone together, to stand up for those that don’t have a voice. It covers humanitarian and wildlife issues all over the world.”
Australia’s two crocodile species are protected in the wild, which means it is illegal to interfere with them or remove their eggs without a licence from the government. However, there have been recurring calls in northern parts of the country where crocs live for legal culling to be allowed to reduce the number of attacks on humans.