Steve Irwin was not like the other kids. Unlike them, he did not shudder at the thought of the wild.
When he was only six years old, Steve caught his first venomous snake (a common brown). What would scare most kids away, intrigued him.
Steve was different. On his way to school, he would do everything in his power to convince his mother to pull over so he could rescue a lizard off the road. All this would often result in him arriving late to school, but that was okay because he knew he had saved a life after all.
Steve Irwin adored animals, and from a very young age, he realised the need to save and conserve them.
Steve was only nine when he would hang around boat ramps, helping catch small problem crocodiles. He jumped on them and wrestled them back into the dinghy.
From a very tender age, Steve began honing his unique skill — he had an unbelievable sixth sense when it came to wildlife.
Steve’s love for crocodiles grew every day, and he soon began spending months on end living in the most remote areas of far north Queensland, catching problem crocodiles for the Queensland Government. Throughout the period, his constant companion was his little dog, Sui.
Crocodile capture and management techniques developed by Steve Irwin are now utilised with crocodilians around the world.
Years later, Steve was married to the love of his life, American Terri Irwin (née Raines). They become parents to daughter Bindi and son Robert.
Steve and Terri co-owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by Irwin’s parents in Beerwah, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of the Queensland state capital of Brisbane.
What is interesting is, Steve and Terri, instead of a honeymoon, filmed a wildlife documentary while relocating a problem crocodile in far north Queensland. The success of the show resulted in it being into a series and The Crocodile Hunter was born.
Crocodile Hunter soon became an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary hit. Steve hosted the show with Terri, both of who worked tirelessly to improve and expand the wildlife park.
However, tragically in 2006, Steve died after being pierced by a stingray’s barb.
Steve Irwin’s love for animals lives on
After Steve Irwin’s death, his family has kept alive his dreams and aspirations through their continuous hard work and their immense love for animals. Australia Zoo is a “life mission” of the Irwin family: wife Terri, their kids Robert and Bindi, and Bindi’s new husband, Chandler.
“We have been incredibly grateful that we’ve been given this unique opportunity to be able to do what we love, which is cuddle animals all day,” CBS News quoted Bindi as saying. “But then also take it to a new level of educating people on how to make a difference in the world.”
Steve was very proud of his children, and he often said that if he was to be remembered for anything, he hoped that it was for being a good father to his little ones.
During the devastating Australia bushfires, the Irwin family – his wife Terri, daughter Bindi and son Robert – rescued and treated over 90,000 animals.
An orphaned platypus, Ollie, was patient number 90,000 at the Wildlife Hospital.
“My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother. We will continue to honour her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can,” Bindi has said.
Years after Steve’s death, his legacy lives on. On his birth anniversary, let us thank Steve Irwin for instilling in us the need to treat every living being with kindness and compassion.