Steve Irwin was the ultimate animal lover, and he stayed true to his beliefs up until his death. His passion for wildlife conservation led him to become one of the most influential people in the world when it came to animals. Today marks 16 years since Steve Irwin’s tragic death. Here’s how the Australian ‘Crocodile Hunter’ changed the world for the better before and after his passing.
Growing up around snakes, crocodiles, and other reptiles, young Steve Irwin became fond of animals. His parents, Bob and Lyn Irwin, founded what is now known as Australia Zoo. It was previously named Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park on June 3, 1970.
Many years later, Steve and his wife Terri filmed the first episode of a series that became a hit worldwide, called ‘The Crocodile Hunter’. To make the occasion even more unique, the two recorded it during their honeymoon in 1992. The two used the platform to show their passion for animals, and many viewers resonated with the couple.
However, 14 years later, the news broke that he tragically died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb. At the time, he was filming about the Great Barrier Reef. As per iNews, his devastating last words were, “I’m dying”.
Australia Zoo is now run under Terri and his eldest daughter, Bindi Irwin.
Looking back at his legacy as a zookeeper, conservationist, and most importantly, a lover of wildlife and his family, we take a look back at some of his key actions that have influenced the world.
His influence on wildlife conservation
During his active years, Steve always wanted to educate the public about the importance and conservation of all the animals that inhabited the planet. He had a close relationship with the animals in the zoo, which was shown through the recording of those moments on camera. Fans watched as he approached the creatures to feed and care for them – and he once did so while carrying his baby in his arms.
Steve soon became referred to as the ‘Crocodile Hunter’. He promoted wildlife conservation by sharing his own experiences and relationships wrestling with crocodiles. On his show, the animal expert also explained how his team tracked and looked after the crocs. Furthermore, they worked with a huge variety of animals, not just crocodiles or alligators.
According to ABC News, Steve was very clear: “My job, my mission, the reason I’ve been put onto this planet, is to save wildfire.”
Establishing organizations to create awareness
His love for animals has not only been shown by his interactions with them, but also by his impact on the environment by founding organizations that guaranteed to maintain their protection.
Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, formerly known as the Steve Irwin Conversation Foundation, was established in 2002 by Steve and Terri. Its mission is to protect habitat and wildlife.
Not only that, but it also educates the public and raises awareness of wildlife issues. It also provides research for the protection of endangered species.
As for his love for cocodriles, the Australian zookeeper also helped to found the International Crocodile Rescue. Both organizations still run until this day, actively searching for better protection for all wildlife.
Steve Irwin is influencing his children even after his death
Not only was Steve’s goal to influence the entire world with his retrospective, but the most important thing for him was to set a good example for his two children, Bindi and Robert.
Before he died, the two of them grew up witnessing his relationship with animals. This led to the two children not being afraid to interact with them either. Ever since then, the two children have been eager to follow in their father’s footsteps.
Throughout the years, Bindi and Robert have appeared on television, including on their father’s program Wildlife Warriors. They also co-hosted a Discovery Kids Channel called Wild But True in 2015 and 2016. Bindi also had her own Discovery Kids series, Bindi the Jungle Girl.
As of today, Bindi and Robert are still working at the Australia Zoo. The two are involved in activities their father Steve originally did decades earlier. Bindi is the current CEO.