Bindi Irwin's emotional tribute as dad Steve is honoured with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame
When wildlife expert and TV personality Steve Irwin passed away in 2006, fans were left stunned. An icon of conservation efforts, he had helped to educate millions of children - and adults - on how to respect nature and enjoy its many wonders. His loss was felt keenly across the world, with flags lowered to half-mast and thousands of fans descending on Australia Zoo, which he owned, to pay their respects.
Now, Irwin has been posthumously honored once more, with a gesture usually reserved for individuals best known as actors, musicians, directors, and producers: his own spot on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Aussie legend was tragically killed in 2006 when a stingray barb pierced his heart while he was filming an underwater documentary, Ocean’s Deadliest. He left behind his wife Terri, herself an acclaimed naturalist and author, and two young children, Bindi and Robert.
Wearing their trademark khaki, all of his family were in attendance to see Irwin's star, which is number 2,635, revealed. They were also joined by a number of high-profile friends including celebrity chef Curtis Stone, and fans who lined the street to pay homage to the man affectionately known as The Crocodile Hunter.
In an emotional speech, Bindi, who was just seven-years-old when her dad passed away, wiped away tears and spoke of her pride at being able to continue her dad's legacy: "I have to tell you that I, never in my wildest dreams, imagined that this would become a reality, and this is such an honor as a family to continue in dad’s footsteps … So thank you for being here today and supporting us."
"And you know what? We’ll always be a family. So congratulations and woohoo," Bindi added. True to their daredevil form, the family then posed near Steve's star with a giant anaconda, which was then seen slithering over the tribute.
In his own speech, her brother, who is now aged 14, touchingly added: "He was the best and most incredible conservationist, but also the best dad".
Speaking on Instagram after the service, Bindi, 19, shared a picture of the family unveiling the star and reflected on how much the day had meant to her: "I’ll remember today forever. Such an emotional moment and beautiful chapter in our lives".
The visit to Los Angeles is far from the first thing Steve's children have done to keep his legacy alive since their father's death; Bindi hosted the Discovery Kids series "Bindi, the Jungle Girl" and co-authored a series of books called Bindi Wildlife Adventures, while Robert has hosted a wildlife series for kids called Wild But True. Later this year, the whole family will appear in a new much-anticipated Animal Planet series.
With such a devoted family, a legion of fans and the rightful recognition of the wider public, Steve Irwin seems destined to be one man who's incredible impact on the world will never be forgotten.