“He’s with us in our hearts, which is superspecial,” the Dancing With the Stars alum, 19, says in the new issue of Us Weekly.
The crocodile hunter, who died in 2006 at age 44, received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 26. “Dad was extraordinary. He really reached through the television set of everyone’s living room and was able to bring a message of wildlife and conservation to millions,” the TV personality recalls.
Irwin believes her dad would have been thrilled with the achievement: “He would have started with, ‘Crikey, this is so exciting!’ To have a conservationist there is a wonderful honor.”
The wildlife conservationist also reveals where she goes to be close to her father. “I think that on days when I just want to reconnect and reflect, I always go to … this huge space filled with kangaroos [at Australia Zoo], and I just sit down with the roos of the evening after the zoo’s closed and just spend some time thinking about life, and it’s kind of my place to feel closest to dad,” she tells Us. “And it’s really special for me. And so that’s kind of where I spend my evenings.”
Bindi’s brother, 14-year-old Robert, agrees that the locale reminds him of Steve: “Even when you walk through Australia Zoo, you can definitely kind of still feel his presence. And everyone in the zoo, us as a family, and our family of over 400 staff, everyone is so incredibly passionate about continuing Dad’s legacy. So, it is really, really nice. And for us, we’ve had our whole lives kind of captured on camera, so we can always look back at those memories and sort of, relive them. So it’s really nice.”
Terri, 53, remembers a particular nugget of wisdom her husband shared with her before his death. “I said to him one day, ‘I wish, just for like 24 hours, I could be as strong as you, because it would be really fun just to pick stuff up.’ And he said, ‘You know there’s different kinds of strengths,’” she says. “And I reflect back on that when things are particularly difficult and challenging, and I think it’s true. We can all be strong in different ways.”
For more on Bindi and the Irwin family, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.
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