It has been 16 years since the passing of one of the greatest animal and nature lovers the world has ever seen, great Steve Irwin.
Irwin died back in 2006, leaving the world mourning his loss. During filming at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Steve was pierced through the chest by a stingray.
“He was having trouble breathing. Even if we’d been able to get him into an emergency ward at that moment we probably wouldn’t have been able to save him, because the damage to his heart was massive,” Justin Lyon, an underwater cameraman and Steve’s close friend told Australia’s Network Ten television.
“As we’re motoring back I’m screaming at one of the other crew in the boat to put their hand over the wound and we’re saying to him things like, ‘Think of your kids, Steve, hang on, hang on, hang on.’ He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, ‘I’m dying.’ And that was the last thing he said.”
“The Crocodile Hunter,” installed the love for the nature and the animals into his children, Bindi and Robert, and now they are both following into his footsteps and are doing their best to keep his legacy alive.
Through his passion and the out-of-this-world videos and documentaries of incredible species, he made millions look at the nature and the creatures living in the wild and the oceans with fresh eyes. Not only was he an animal lover, but a very famous advocate and conservationist too.
Despite the time that has passed since his passing, wife Terri still misses him badly. Although he’s no longer around, she is forever grateful she had her ‘happily ever after’ with him.
“Every day is hard, and after 16 years, the sadness stops being a rock in your heart and starts walking beside you,” she opened up during an emotional interview on the program Anh’s Brush with Fame.
Further, Terri said the word ‘famous’ never existed in Steve’s life. He never let fame affect him in any way, but he remained humble until the very last day of his life. “Famous wasn’t a word that occurred to Steve. I loved that about him, he was never pretentious, never big-noted himself, and we did put everything we made for wildlife and still do back into conservation, I’m really proud of that.”
Sharing the devastating news with the kids, which were still very young at the time they lost their father, was the hardest thing of all. How do you tell a child they will never see their dad again?
“I just remember this incredible sense of responsibility, this feeling of overwhelming grief but ‘what do I do next? I kind of collected my thoughts and then had to go out to the car and tell Bindi and Robert … which was really hard,” Terri confessed.
Terri then tearfully recalls the last time she saw Steve. She, Bindi and Robert were flying to Tasmania while Steve stayed behind to film the documentary.
“I remember him at the airstrip waving goodbye. That was the last time we saw him.”
She says he would have been surprised by the outpouring of love and grief by the millions of people who loved what he did.
Rest in peace, Steve Irwin. Your family keeps your legacy alive.
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Love and Peace