Terri, Robert and Bindi Irwin.
Terri, Robert and Bindi Irwin.

Steve Irwin Day draws a big crowd

ROBERT Irwin is the “spitting image” of his old man.

With his cheeky grin, blond hair and big blue eyes, Robert reminds his sister Bindi of their crocodile hunting dad every day.

The energetic six-year-old this week put his hands in the imprints Steve made in a cement slab at Australia Zoo in 1999.

Bindi says young Robert does it all the time, to track how quickly he is growing up.

Robert was only two years old when his famous dad died in 2006 from a stingray barb while he was filming off North Queensland.

Crocodile Hunter DVDs are treasured by Robert, who watches his dad and tries to mimic how Steve acted.

Robert was intent on having a good day as celebrities and hundreds of fans flocked to Australia Zoo for the annual Steve Irwin Day.

“Yeah, it’s awesome,” he said as he zipped around the zoo in velcro-strap shoes and long, bright orange socks.

“Did you know crocs have never actually tried to get people with orange socks on?” Robert joked at the Crocoseum.

More than four years after Steve’s death, Bindi said it was “heart warming” to have a day to remember her dad.

“Robert is the spitting image of dad,” Bindi said.

The 12-year-old said she sometimes felt like she was in The Truman Show, a movie in which a man thinks he is living a normal life only to find out as an adult he is being filmed and made into a reality TV show.

Old movies where Steve carried around his baby daughter are now special memories for Bindi.

Bindi, who has started feeding crocodiles at the zoo, said she always tried to remember the happy times she spent with her dad.

Robert smiled from ear to ear as he pushed his hands into the imprints in cement his dad had made in 1999.

The Irwins were a young family back then and Bindi was only eight months old.

Steve had just finished concreting at the family home and called out for Terri and Bindi to make handprints in the slab he had poured at the zoo.

Rain was starting to fall at Beerwah so Terri grabbed a sheet and covered the wet cement to save the prints.

Terri remembers being roused on for dirtying a sheet by Steve’s mum, Lyn, who died a year later in a car crash.

Eleven years later, the handprints of the Irwins are the start of a walk of fame at the zoo.

The stars who added their handprints this week were Steve Jacobs from the Today Show, Premier Anna Bligh, Hollywood actor Beau Bridges, Australian comedian Magda Szubanski, singer Shannon Noll and animal rights activist Paul Watson.

Gympie Times


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