I have a confession to make: In the ’90s, I had a bit of a crush on Steve Irwin, aka The Crocodile Hunter.
I watched his show religiously, and I even had a Crocodile Hunter doll. If you pushed his belly, he said some stuff in that cute little Australian accent of his. But the thing I loved most about Irwin was his exuberant spirit and his passion for preserving wildlife and protecting animals. Despite the moniker Crocodile Hunter, Irwin was anything but. He dedicated his life to making sure that every wild thing was afforded the protection and respectful treatment they deserved.
When Irwin—who would have turned 55 on February 22—passed away tragically in September 2006, he left behind his wife Terri, and two children, Bindi and Robert.
While 18-year-old Bindi has been in the spotlight to some degree (she is a actress, singer, television personality who won season 21 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” back in 2015), her 13-year-old brother, Robert, has kept a bit of a lower profile.
But all that changed with his recent appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” Though just 13, the young teen is the spitting image of his late father, Steve. But not only does he look like the Croc Hunter, he also behaves just like him! He has the same passion for wildlife as his father, and he speaks with excitement, warmth and pure joy as he handles the animals beside Fallon. It’s truly awesome to witness.
His sister Bindi shared a touching message on Instagram about her brother’s awesome performance, pointing out how he is just like their father.
“Tears in my eyes. So proud of @robertirwinphotography. You are more and more like Dad every day. I’m forever thankful to be your sister,” she wrote.
How wonderful to have Robert following in his father’s footsteps and continuing to teach a whole new generation of young people the importance of conservation and respect for wildlife. Although it has been more than a decade since Irwin passed away, it is clear that his spirit lives on in his children.