Friday, Sept. 4 was the 14th anniversary of the death of wildlife expert Steve Irwin, and his daughter Bindi Irwin posted a touching tribute on social media. Irwin was known for his work in TV nature specials, but he was a passionate environmentalist in his real life as well. His daughter led her followers in honoring his memory this weekend.
"You're always in my heart," Bindi wrote alongside a photo of herself and Irwin. The two were huddled together, observing crabs on a sandy beach, both with big smiles on their faces. The post picked up nearly a quarter-million likes on Twitter, and over 20,000 retweets as well. Before long, fans were sharing their favorite memories of Irwin and detailing how he had influenced them from a young age. Others sent their condolences with Bindi.
You’re always in my heart. pic.twitter.com/kP7Je2VkSv— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) September 4, 2020
"My thoughts are with you and your family. Although a sad day, I know you're proud as punch of your Dad and are celebrating this very special man. What a guy! Much love from the U.K.," one fan wrote. Another added: "He was absolute legend [and] is definitely missed. No doubt he'd be proud of his kids."
Irwin passed away on Sept. 4, 2006, while filming in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. He was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb, causing immense trauma to his vital organs. The incident was not even related to the main documentary Irwin was working on — while those cameras were down due to inclement weather, he was using his downtime to get footage for Bindi's TV series.
Irwin's death caught the whole world completely off-guard, as he had become a symbol for his unique brand of easy-going courage all over the world. The then-Prime Minister of Irwin's native Australia, John Howard, said: "Australia has lost a wonderful and colourful son."
In the years following his passing, Irwin's legacy has crystalized around his passion for wildlife conservation and environmentalism, and for more meaningful connections between humans and nature. In many ways, his children, Bindi and Robert Irwin, are responsible for keeping those ideals alive, as they have carried on his work.
At age 9, Bindi co-hosted a show with her father, Bindi the Jungle Girl, which was wildly popular in Australia. She has continued her work in both television and wildlife conservation, supporting organizations like Wildlife Warriors. Her stardom was renewed in the U.S. in 2015 when she won Dancing With the Stars Season 21.