Today, Feb. 22, Steve Irwin would have been 57 years old. He dedicated his life to preserving and teaching about wildlife, especially the critters most people wouldn’t touch with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole.
The legacy he has left behind has reached far and wide, with many people recognizing him, his family and the work he did while he was alive.
As a special tribute to the revered wildlife spokesperson, Google has made their own gift to commemorate his life well-lived, and anyone using Google on Feb. 22 has the opportunity to appreciate their handiwork.
— Australia Zoo (@AustraliaZoo) February 21, 2019
“Today’s Google Doodle acknowledges the life and achievements of my husband Steve Irwin, whose efforts to protect wildlife and wild places have been recognised as the most extensive of any conservationist,” she wrote. “We are so proud that his legacy lives on, as that was his greatest wish. He once said, ‘I don’t care if I’m remembered, as long as my message is remembered.'”
Being raised in a family that ran a reptile park, Irwin had the unique opportunity to get to know these creatures on an intimate level, providing a solid foundation for his future endeavors.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) February 21, 2019
Their relationship was sparked during Irwin’s visit to the Beerwah Reptile Park where she was immediately drawn to the young man with an obvious appreciation of and respect for dangerous animals.
Their career as TV stars started accidentally and flowed naturally out of their mutual efforts to save endangered animals.
“Steve and I married in June 1992 in my grandmother’s church in Eugene, Oregon,” Terri continued in the blog post. “Afterward, we received a phone call about a poacher trying to kill a large crocodile in North Queensland, so instead of a honeymoon, Steve and I went to Australia to save the croc before the bad guys got him.
“We invited a film crew to come along and document our efforts. Although we didn’t arrive in time to save the crocodile, we did save his mate.”
“She was a beautiful girl, not quite 10 feet long. We didn’t know it at the time, but this would turn out to be the very first episode of ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ and the beginning of a 14-year adventure, filming in locations across Australia and around the world.”
His children have picked up where their father left off, encouraged by his accomplishments and drive and giving off the same bright enthusiasm that made his personality so inviting.
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While Robert Irwin shared his own birthday wishes, Bindi Irwin posted a photo of her with her dad. Being the older child, she no doubt has more memories of times with her dad.
The photo perfectly encapsulates the daughter’s upbringing, as her dad is cradling her in one arm and a koala in another. Steve loved his daughter and gave her a childhood that was similar to his own, in the sense that she had access to many animal-related learning opportunities just as he did.
If Steve Irwin was still here today, he’d certainly be proud of his family and the progress they’ve made in his memory. It was hard to lose their father and husband, but a lot of good has come from their efforts to continue his legacy.
And based on his statement “I don’t care if I’m remembered, as long as my message is remembered,” he’d be thrilled to know that both his memory and message are alive and well.
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