To the world, Steve Irwin will always be known as the animal-loving “Crocodile Hunter.” But to his kids, the late television personality will be remembered as a loyal father who loved his family more than anything.
On Australia’s Father’s Day, Irwin’s two children, Bindi and Robert, took to social media to honor their dad, who died on Sept. 4, 2006, in a tragic stingray attack. And their messages, posted on Sept. 2, just days before the 12th anniversary of his death, remembered Irwin as not only a devoted dad but also their hero.
Bindi, now 20, shared this adorable video to her Instagram account:
Bindi, an actor and conservationist, wrote in the caption of her Instagram post, “‘The Lion King’ ❤️ Happy Australian Father’s Day. I’m thankful every day that these moments were captured on camera.”
That same day, Irwin’s son, Robert, posted a similar message to his Instagram account, celebrating their late father.
For his post, Robert, who is an award-winning nature photographer, shared a sweet throwback snapshot of himself as a toddler with his crocodile-hunting dad. Both of them have their arms up in the air in excitement, with big smiles across their faces.
The 14-year-old Irwin kid wrote in the caption along the photo, “Happy Father’s Day in Australia. I feel so fortunate for all of the fun times we got to spend with the greatest dad.”
Irwin’s wife, Terri, also remembered her late husband on Australia’s Father’s Day with an emotional post on her Twitter account.
The 54-year-old naturalist, who continues to run the Australia Zoo, shared photos of Irwin with their children, along with the message, “Happy Father’s Day Australia. More than anything, Steve loved being a dad. He’d be so proud of his kids. Sending love to all the dads today.”
Happy Father’s Day Australia. More than anything,Steve loved being a dad. He’d be so proud of his kids. Sending love to all the dads today. pic.twitter.com/rU8dz8Xo5e
— Terri Irwin (@TerriIrwin) September 2, 2018
The late TV host and conservationist captivated audiences with his affable personality and encyclopedic knowledge of all things animals and nature. More than a decade later, his loss is still deeply felt.
His influence, however, continues to this day. In April, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce recognized Irwin’s contribution to television posthumously with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“We try to continue Dad’s legacy each and every day,” Bindi said during her speech at the April 26 ceremony. “And we want to make sure everything he lived and died for continues on into the future.”