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Ten Years On We Remember Steve Irwin's Legacy

Ten years ago on Sunday Australians shared a moment of collective shock.

Ask around and most people can tell you what they were doing, and where they were, when the news broke.

Steve Irwin. Dead. A stingray. A barb through the heart.

The man who'd wheedled his way into the nation's affections, with his wide smile and penchant for cuddling crocs, was gone and no one could quite believe it.


The 10th anniversary of the Crocodile Hunter's death falls on Father's Day.

His daughter Bindi was just eight years old when a stingray killed her celebrity father in the warm waters off Port Douglas, as he filed a segment for a new series called Ocean's Deadliest.

Her brother, Robert, was not yet three.


In the years since, the Crocodile Hunter's wife and children have taken up where Irwin left off, as loud voices for the protection of Australian wildlife and the habitats that sustain them.

Bindi, now 18, says she's proud of that work and of being able to build on her dad's legacy.

Standing on the banks of the Wenlock River, in the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve on Queensland's Cape York Peninsula, Bindi talks about a world-first satellite tracking project that's keeping tabs on crocs inside the protected area.


The research has uncovered previously unknown facts about the fearsome species, including the fact they can travel up to 60km in a single day.

"We can still feel him around us, and we hope he would be proud of us," she told the Nine Network this week.

Robert, now 12 and looking like a carbon copy of his dad, is also along to help catch crocs for scientific study, and adds:

"It is incredible that we get to carry on where he left off."

The family hasn't said how they'll mark the 10-year anniversary of Irwin's death on Sunday.

They have always kept the details of their grieving process private.

Irwin's father Bob has also chosen not to speak publicly about how he'll mark the day, but back in 2011 he shared a glimpse of the rituals he relies on to keep his son close.

He told of his walks, each evening, along a well-worn track from the back of his farmhouse to a fire pit where he thinks and talks to Steve.

"It's something I do privately. I get messages from Steve and I don't mind admitting I talk to him," he told AAP.

"If people think I'm crazy, that's fine. I talk to the animals too."

He spoke too of the enormous sense of loss that's always with him.

"It's something I'll never completely get over. I don't think you do. But what you do is learn to live with it. I know Steve's out there and he helps me do what I've got to do."


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