Steve Irwin was a loving and devoted father to his two children, Bindi, his daughter, and Robert, his son. Together with his wife, Terri, he devoted a significant portion of his time to taking care of animals and educating their children on the need of protecting wildlife.
But before the birth of his daughter Bindi, Steve struggled with certain apprehensions over his role as a parent. In an interview with Australian Story in 2003, Steve said that the thought of being a dad wasn’t something he was particularly excited about. However, as soon as Bindi was born, Steve’s life began to improve dramatically.
During a significant portion of his career, Steve filmed a number of films that showcased a wide variety of animal species, particularly those that were at imminent risk of becoming extinct.
During one of these shoots, which took place on the Batt Reef in Queensland, Australia, Steve and his close buddy and filmmaker, Justin Lyons, were both on the lookout for tiger sharks. They were at sea when they encountered some stormy conditions.
Because Steve could not take the idea of being confined on the boat with nothing to do, he and Justin hopped on a tiny inflatable boat and set out into the big ocean to search for some animals.
They didn’t have to look for long before they came upon a massive stingray that was eight feet wide and would make for excellent video for another project that they were working on. But unfortunately, things went from bad to worse for Steve. According to what Justin saw, “all of a sudden, it propped on its front and began stabbing frantically with its tail, hundreds of blows in a few seconds.”
Justin continued by saying that the stingray most likely misidentified Steve as a dangerous animal and attacked him as a result. As soon as Justin turned his head to look at Steve, he discovered that both of the tail strikes had entered Steve’s chest directly.
Even though Justin worked swiftly to get Steve back on the boat, it was obvious that Steve would not make it to the hospital on time even with Justin’s assistance. Justin recalled how the man simply and calmly glanced up at him and stated, ” ‘I’m dying,’ and that was the last thing he said.
John Stainton, Steve’s producer, had a foreboding sense about the shoot that they were going to embark on in the days immediately up to Steve’s passing in 2006. Steve had passed away in 2006. John recalled a speech that Steve had delivered just before the beginning of filming for the documentary:
He was, in a sense, thanking them all for being who they were and for the assistance they had provided him. It was similar to a farewell address.”
Regardless of whether or not Steve had a premonition of his own death when he gave his farewell statement to the group, his wife Terri said that Steve had the mindset that he wouldn’t live a very long life. Terri said that her brother had “always sort of had this premonition” that his life would be cut short.
In addition, Terri said that she had concerns about becoming a single parent to their two children. Shortly after Steve passed away, Robert, who was just two years old at the time, would not stop asking about his father. Bindi, who was just a few years older than Robert, maintained her support for Terri throughout the situation.
Terri said that the terrible loss of Steve had the effect of bringing the family closer together. The years of suffering they went through provided a firm basis on which to build strong connections within the family. But the extended family has also been torn apart as a result of Steve’s passing.
In 1992, Steve’s mother, Terri, and his father, Bob Sr., presented Steve and Terri with the gift of Beerwah Reptile Park, which is now known as Australia Zoo. However, Bob maintained his involvement in the firm throughout its expansion.
However, two years after Steve’s passing, Bob Sr. unexpectedly quit the firm after having a disagreement with Terri on the appropriate way for the business to be operated.
After reaching a settlement with Terri, Bob Sr. was able to purchase a piece of real estate that he dubbed “Camp Chilli,” after one of Steve’s favorite camping spots. Since then, Bob’s relationship with Terri and his grandkids has deteriorated to the point that they are no longer speaking.
But there was more to it than that. There was a time when Steve’s elder sister Joy and her family were also engaged in the day-to-day operations of the Australia Zoo. Frank, Joy’s spouse, was employed at the zoo until 2015 when he was terminated from his position. Soon after, Joy and her children followed them out of the zoo.
According to Steve’s eldest daughter, Bindi, their connection suffered over the years as a direct result of their grandfather’s decision to lead a secluded lifestyle. “There is no one right way to cope with sorrow.” After my father died away, he made the decision to cut himself off from everything that my father treasured the most, she added.
Both Bindi and Robert eventually arrived at a fork in the road in their lives, forcing them to make a decision on whether they would follow Steve’s route or go in an entirely other direction. Both Bindi and Robert made the decision to throw themselves wholeheartedly into the animal conservation effort that their father was so passionate about.
The tagging of crocodiles for the purpose of research conducted in collaboration with the University of Queensland in Australia was a component of the conservation work that the siblings undertook. In a post on Instagram, Robert said, “This study was all initiated by Dad, and to this day, we still employ the same techniques of capture that he devised.”
But it wasn’t the end of Robert’s passion for the great outdoors. In addition to that, he acquired a deep appreciation for photographing wild animals:
When I was about six years old, I got my first camera, which was a simple point-and-shoot model. I immediately became fascinated with photography. My interest in photography grew as a result, to the point that I now carry all of my camera equipment with me everywhere I go.
Their dedication to protecting the environment and wild animals is something of which their father would have been extremely proud. In a previous interview, he shed a few tears as he shared his sentiment that he would be overjoyed and incredibly pleased to one day stand aside so that his children may continue his work at the Australia Zoo and in the field of animal conservation.
While Robert got his hands dirty with wildlife conservation and photography, his sister Bindi served as the CEO of the Australia Zoo with her mother, Terri, who was the chairwoman of the zoo. Bindi also took photographs of the animals there.
Chandler Powell was the object of Bindi’s affection in a romantic relationship as well. In 2013, Chandler was traveling to Australia for a national wakeboarding tournament, and that is where the two of them first crossed paths. He made the decision to go to the Australia Zoo, and as luck would have it, Bindi was the guide for that particular day’s tour of the zoo.
The moment Chandler laid eyes on Bindi, he fell head over heels in love with her. Chandler made the decision to behave like the noble gentlemen that he is by writing a letter to Bindi’s mother and politely requesting that he be allowed to maintain communication with Bindi. This kind of old-fashioned gesture won her over completely.
Chandler’s decision to forgo a career in wakeboarding in order to join the Irwin family as a member of the workforce at the Australia Zoo was a demonstration of his devotion to Bindi and the bond they had. On the occasion of Bindi’s birthday (the 24th of July) in the year 2019, Chandler posed the important question, and she of course accepted.
In spite of the fact that the couple had intended to invite two hundred guests to their big day, the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to their plans. As a result, they made the decision to get married at the Australia Zoo with many animals and only three other people in attendance; these included Terri, Robert, and Steve’s best friend, Wes Mannion.
Bindi made the decision to have her wedding dress fashioned to be an exact replica of the outfit that her mother wore when she married Steve in 1992:
“When I was about 12 years old, I put on my mother’s wedding dress, and it was a very, really important moment for me… The fact that it has been passed down through the family for so many generations indicates that it is older than fifty years.
Bindi and Chandler paid tribute to Steve’s memory by presenting a photograph of him throughout the wedding ceremony. In addition to commemorating Bindi’s mother via the wedding dress she wore, the couple also included a portrait of Steve. Even lighting a candle in his honor was a touching gesture to show their respect. “…we had the distinct impression that he was there beside us the whole time. It was a beautiful moment filled with pleasure and calm “Bindi stated.
The day that Chandler and Bindi Powell celebrated their first wedding anniversary also happened to be the day that they gave birth to their daughter, Grace Warrior Irwin Powell. This was a happy and auspicious turn of events for the happy couple. “Celebrating the two things in my life that mean the most to me. My heartfelt best wishes go out to my loving hubby on the occasion of our first wedding anniversary and on the day when our lovely baby was born “Bindi posted something on her Instagram account.
Even though it has been a number of years since Steve passed away, his daughter Bindi still remembers his dad with a shattered heart. She remembers witnessing an old video of Steve lobbying against the harvesting of crocodile eggs. She also recalled watching this video. Despite the fact that she has seen the film a number of times, she started crying.
She also said that the experience of losing her father was comparable to the experience of losing a piece of her heart, which is something that cannot be forgotten: “I can still clearly recall people coming up to me and saying things like “I’m sorry for your loss, love.” Every wound may be healed with the passage of time. But there is no truth to that statement at all. It’s like losing a piece of your heart, and once that’s gone, it’s gone forever. You can never get it back.”
Robert and Bindi are the kinds of children that look up to and admire their parents. “Through a lifetime caught on video and anecdotes from my family and others who knew him best, I’m able to recall the great occasions with dad,” Robert said. “[T]hese are the fondest memories I have of him.”
Steve was given the title of hero by both Robert and Bindi. They both considered it a blessing to be able to carry on the job that he had started, and they both have high hopes that their offspring would follow in his footsteps.