Steve Irwin who would have been 58 on Saturday was remembered by his family and fans as they shared heartwarming tributes to the icon.
Legendary television star and Australia's one and only "Crocodile Hunter," Steve Irwin, would have turned 58 on Saturday. The conservationist passed away in 2006 after a massive stingray stabbed him, "hundreds of times," off the coast of northern Australia. His family commemorated his legacy on February 22 by sharing touching tributes on their respective social media accounts. Irwin's daughter Bindi uploaded an adorable throwback photo of the two and heartbreakingly explained how she observed this auspicious day by doing everything that he would have loved.
Taking to Instagram, she wrote: Dad, Today is your birthday. I had an extra-strong cup of tea just how you liked it. I hugged Mum for you and told her how much we love her. Robert and I went on a hike through the mountains you cherished. I watched one of your documentaries with Chandler and shared stories about you. I walked through your office in the zoo and smiled at our old family photographs. Today and every day I miss you and love you beyond description. You’re always with me. ❤️ Bindi's fiancé, 23-year-old Chandler Powell, too shared a sweet post remembering the family patriarch.
Thanking Irwin for showing him and the whole world that wildlife is a thing to love and not be feared, he expressed: Thank you for inspiring me and the whole world to love all wildlife. You would be so proud of Bindi, Terri, and Robert carrying on the amazing work you started. We will all make sure your message lives on for generations❤️🐊. 16-year-old Robert, who was almost three when his father tragically passed away, posted a black and white family picture to honor Irwin's birthday. It had a sweet and simple message along with it which read: Family Always.
As for his lovely wife, Terri, she went on Twitter and shared her thoughts about her late husband's birthday. Posting a series of nostalgic and heartwrenching photographs, she wrote: Today would’ve been Steve’s 58th birthday. While my heart aches missing him every day, I’m determined to celebrate what he loved the most. He was happiest spending time @AustraliaZoo w/ @BindiIrwin & @RobertIrwin. Expressing the love she had for her best friend, she continued: He was my best friend, best dad, & built the best Zoo. I love you.
Today would’ve been Steve’s 58th birthday. While my heart aches missing him every day, I’m determined to celebrate what he loved the most. He was happiest spending time @AustraliaZoo w/ @BindiIrwin & @RobertIrwin. He was my best friend, best dad, & built the best Zoo. I love you. pic.twitter.com/IWsoWuJqxY— Terri Irwin (@TerriIrwin) February 22, 2020
Several Twitter users took this opportunity to recognize Irwin for the amazing man he was. Commenting on Terri's touching post, Danie McClain expressed: Man's first job was naming and taking care of the animals. Steve Irwin did it better than anyone. The Irwin family and friends have made the world a better place by continuing mankind's first mission. Thank you for sharing your family with us! Another @tchyntia noted: Does anyone ever know anyone who doesn't LOVE STEVE IRWIN? Can't think of one. The whole world is STILL INSPIRED BY HIM. Family man who got such a big love for animals. Happy Birthday Steve! Bet Heaven is also celebrating you!
The night I heard he died, was driving home from work at 11 pm. I looked upward and said aloud "Why, God? WHY?" A huge comet with a brilliant multicolored tail streaked cross the sky above til it burned out. It was an answer, I understood it, and it comforted me.— Carla White⭐⭐⭐ (@CarpeDi56670676) February 23, 2020
Irwin's passion and love for wildlife started when he was a child. His family moved to Queensland and opened their roadside wildlife park, Beerwah Reptile Park, where Irwin would help out, reports CNN. He grew up loving them, especially reptiles. According to Australia Zoo's website, Irwin caught his first venomous snake when he was just 6 and would often arrive at school late as he would spend the time rescuing lizards off the road. Then he began assisting in catching small problem-causing crocodiles and seemed to be a natural at it. The website notes how the conversationalist has an uncanny 'sixth sense' when it came to wildlife.
Happy Birthday Steve 💪🏽 One of the most amazing conservationist families we have seen since the Cousteau's. Missing you always Crocodile Hunter. Thank you for everything you have done to protect this planet and it's creepy crawly inhabitants of this world, forever grateful 😇 pic.twitter.com/kl3pl5A5cd— Robert G. (@IBMLinux) February 22, 2020
Soon, the zoo was renamed to 'Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park' and Irwin spent countless hours taking care of the residents there. Just two days after he took over the park's management, he met his beautiful wife Terri who was a visiting tourist there. On June 4, 1992, the couple tied the knot and instead of going for their honeymoon, they "embarked on filming a wildlife documentary while relocating a problem crocodile in Far North Queensland. The show was so successful that it turned into a series and The Crocodile Hunter was born." As the pair worked tirelessly to improve the park, it was re-named 'Australian Zoo' in 1998, with the vision of making it the world's best zoo.
Irwin and his wife were blessed with their two children, Bindi and Robert. They even had a ten-year business plan set out for their beloved zoo. But as fate would have it, the crocodile hunter passed away in 2006 leaving behind his family, who continue to work tirelessly to achieve the goals Irwin had hoped to attain.