Steve Irwin's teenage son Robert is following in his Crocodile Hunter dad's footsteps! The 17-year-old son of the late Animal Planet star showed off his own croc-handling skills in a wild video Tuesday in which he feeds one of the massive reptiles at his family's Australia Zoo, leaping out of range of its powerful jaws in the same way his father once did.
"Bluey the croc putting on a big strike!" Robert captioned the Instagram video. "There’s nothing quite like getting to experience the power of these modern-day dinosaurs, it’s such a privilege!" For fans of Steve, who were devastated when the animal advocate was killed at the age of 44 when he was attacked by a stingray in 2006, it was an emotional moment to see his son carrying on his legacy. "So much like your father, Rob," one fan commented. "Amazing to see you and Bindi grow like this and really live up to everything your dad started. He’d be so proud of you!!" Another person noted, "Robert looks so much like his dad here!" while a third added, "No fear, just like your dad!"
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Robert's sister, Bindi Irwin, celebrated her brother's birthday last month, sharing a sweet tribute alongside photos of him walking her down the aisle in place of their late father. "Happy Birthday to my amazing brother! Your kind heart and fantastic sense of humour makes my every day," the pregnant 22-year-old wrote. "Our baby girl is going to love her ‘funcle’ (fun uncle) so very much. You’re one of the brightest lights the world has ever seen. I’ll always be here for you. Love you!"
Also marking his 17th birthday was a tear-jerking video from the staff at the Australia Zoo, who compiled footage of Steve talking proudly about his children, just 8 and 2 years old at the time of his death, and juxtaposed footage of Robert following his lead as a wildlife photographer and animal advocate. The video "means the world to me," Robert said on Instagram after watching the film back, which begins with his dad recounting the day his son was born thinking, "This is why I was put here."
Steve continued that he would be proud to pass on his passion for animals and conservation to his kids, saying that "when they’re ready to run up our mission, I will gladly step aside." The beautiful tribute ended with the Crocodile Hunter star stating, "Then and only then will I know that I have achieved my ultimate goal. My job will be done, and I guarantee you it will be the proudest moment of my life."