It’s hard to believe it has been 12 years since the death of Australian zookeeper and conservationist Steve Irwin.
With his warm personality and love of the natural world, Steve brought a real sense of outback adventure into the living rooms of many families, my own included.
When Steve died after being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb in 2006 – at the age of just 44 years old – the loss was felt throughout the world.
And his family have worked hard over the years to preserve his legacy, continuing to share their love of wildlife with others.
Steve’s wife Terri has now spoken out about how the beloved television personality appeared to have predicted his tragic fate.
Speaking on ABC’s Anh’s Brush with Fame, Terri revealed:
You know he never thought he would have a long life. He just always kind of had this sense that his life would be cut short.
I remember him saying to me, ‘I don’t think I am going to film anymore, I think I am just going to spend time with my kids.’
Watch Steve’s son Robert make an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon below:
Opening up about her marriage to The Crocodile Hunter, Terri said:
I always felt with Steve, if I hadn’t married Steve I wouldn’t have gotten married […]
I wasn’t even dating, I wasn’t even looking. I was 27-years-old and figured my life was going to be my work and met Steve and fell instantly in love.
She also revealed since Steve’s death there has not been another significant other in her life:
I feel that we had that soulmate thing. And in the 10 years since, I haven’t dated or even thought about it. Because I’m not afraid to be on my own. […]
It’s just really hard not having Steve. I’m just lonely for Steve if that makes sense.
Terri proceeded to speak about her grief for her late husband:
Grief hits you at the most bizarre times. So I might be talking to biology students and it will remind me of Steve and I will burst into tears.
You don’t ever get over grief. It changes, but you never wake up one morning and go, ‘Oh, I’m done with that’. That was the challenge in the journey after Steve died.
In a recent post celebrating National Zoo Keeper Week, Steve and Terri’s 19-year-old daughter Bindi wrote the following message in appreciation of both her parents:
Shoutout to my extraordinary parents, the most amazing Wildlife Warriors. Their love for wildlife and wild places is so special. They inspire me every day to follow my dreams and stand up for what I believe in.
In April 2018, The Irwin family travelled to Hollywood as Steve was awarded a well-deserved star on the Walk of Fame.
During the ceremony – attended by hundreds of fans – Terri, Bindi and Robert were all dressed in the khaki zookeeper clothing so many of us associate with the Australian icon.
Before his death, Steve spoke about his wishes for his family to continue his good work, and it appears they have done him more than proud.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.