'I cherish all the good times': Robert Irwin's heartfelt tribute on dad Steve Irwin's 16th death anniversary
Robert plans to follow in his father's footsteps and travel the world while producing wildlife films
Robert Irwin tweeted a heartfelt Father's Day memorial to his late father Steve on Sunday, September 4. The charming photo of Robert, when only a toddler, being gently rocked by Steve, the famous conservationist, was uploaded to Instagram. "I cherish all the good times with my dad and feel grateful to be able to keep his memory and legacy alive," Robert wrote. Many of his well-known supporters were eager to send Robert their best wishes.
Actress Emma Perry, who is rumored to be his girlfriend, posted, "No doubt he's smiling with pride as he watches over you," while Tsehay Hawkins, a new member of Yellow Wiggle, added two love heart emojis.
Sunday also happened to be the 16th anniversary of his father's terrible death. Steve was punctured in the chest by a stingray and passed away while filming a documentary on Batt Reef, Queensland, on September 4, 2006, at the age of 44. The younger brother of fellow Wildlife Warrior Bindi Irwin, Robert is the sole child of Steve and Terri Irwin.
Robert, who lost his father when he was just two years old in 2006, has spent his whole life carrying on his father's legacy. According to a recent story, he plans to follow in his father's footsteps and leave his family's home at Australia Zoo in Queensland to travel the world while producing wildlife films. It was revealed in July that Robert was in a relationship with Emma Perry, an American actress and animal rights activist, who is also heiress to an estimated $380 million videogame fortune.
Steve was well recognized for his love of animals and his contributions to the preservation of Australian biodiversity. His popular TV show 'The Crocodile Hunter' ran for over 300 episodes from 1997 to 2004 and made his outlandish personality and good temperament familiar to audiences around the world. Additionally, Steve established Animals Warriors Worldwide (formerly the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation), an organization that conducts scientific study as well as breeding and rescue efforts for endangered species in order to safeguard habitat and wildlife.
The popular crocodile chaser always had a passion for nature. In 1970, his parents Lyn and Bob Irwin established the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, which is today known as Australia Zoo. At the age of 9, his father showed him how to "hunt" for crocodiles in rivers. He participated in the government's Crocodile Relocation Program during his youth, catching crocodiles that had gotten too near to residential areas. He then assisted in moving the reptiles to the family park or appropriate sites in the wild.
Steve did the same for his own children as Bob did for his son, passing on his love of animals. The young naturalist, however, is demonstrating how much like his late father he is now that he is 17 years old. Robert spends his time advocating for environmental protection and animal rights, much like Steve did when he was younger.