Steve Irwin’s tragic death in 2006 left the world of animal conservation without one of its loudest and proudest names. However, his legacy has continued thanks to the tireless efforts of his wife and children. Here’s how the Irwin family have kept the spirit of the original crocodile hunter well and truly alive.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1962, Steve Irwin was surrounded by animals as a youngster. He spent much of his childhood working at his parents’ reptile park in Queensland, and by the age of nine he was already wrestling crocodiles. In 1991 he was officially appointed the park’s new manager, and seven years later he rechristened it Australia Zoo.
Irwin became a TV star in 1996 when he showcased his lively personality, love of khaki and animal expertise on The Crocodile Hunter. After being a hit in his homeland, the show went on to enjoy success in the U.S and U.K. It was eventually broadcast in well over 100 different countries and concluded with a three-hour special in which Irwin visited everywhere from the Yangtze River to the Himalayas.