Bindi Irwin pays tribute to her late ‘Crocodile Hunter’ father on Steve Irwin Day


Bindi Irwin has paid touching tribute to her late father in celebration of Steve Irwin Day, an annual event honouring the life and legacy of the ‘Crocodile Hunter’.

On Monday, the 23-year-old zookeeper posted a throwback image with Steve, alongside a heartwarming caption.

‘Your legacy will live on forever. I love you for even longer. November 15, Steve Irwin Day,’ she wrote.

Throwback: Bindi Irwin has paid touching tribute to her late father Steve Irwin. Both pictured

Steve was also father to son Robert, now 17.  

It comes following reports an eerie ‘farewell’ speech delivered by Steve Irwin just weeks before his death has haunted his best friend for 15 years.

Irwin died on September 4, 2006, at the age of 44 after he was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a wildlife documentary called Ocean’s Deadliest in Queensland.

John Stainton, Irwin’s close friend and the producer of The Crocodile Hunter TV series, was part of the production team and witnessed Irwin’s horrific death.

Grown up: The 23-year-old zookeeper posted a throwback image with Steve, along with a heart warming caption

Grown up: The 23-year-old zookeeper posted a throwback image with Steve, along with a heart warming caption

'It was like a "finale" speech. Very weird': It comes after Steve Irwin's (right) best friend, TV producer John Stainton (left), recalled the late Crocodile Hunter's eerie 'farewell' speech to his crew just weeks before his death in September 2006

‘It was like a “finale” speech. Very weird’: It comes after Steve Irwin’s (right) best friend, TV producer John Stainton (left), recalled the late Crocodile Hunter’s eerie ‘farewell’ speech to his crew just weeks before his death in September 2006 

‘A couple of days before we started the show, he made a little speech to all the crew that were up there catching crocs for his research trip – which I joined at the end with our crew to do the [Ocean’s Deadliest] movie,’ he told the I’ve Got News for You podcast.   

‘And it was really weird. He was sort of thanking them all for being who they were and for helping him. It was like a “finale” speech. Very weird,’ Stainton added.  

‘I had this idea on arriving that something was wrong, but it’s just life, you never know what things are going to do to you.’

Tragic: Irwin died on September 4, 2006, at the age of 44 after he was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a wildlife documentary called Ocean's Deadliest in Queensland

Tragic: Irwin died on September 4, 2006, at the age of 44 after he was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a wildlife documentary called Ocean’s Deadliest in Queensland

'I had this idea on arriving that something was wrong': Stainton, who witnessed Irwin's horrific death, told the I've Got News for You podcast he 'had a bad feeling' about the documentary shoot in Queensland. Pictured at Irwin's memorial service on September 20, 2006, in Beerwah

‘I had this idea on arriving that something was wrong’: Stainton, who witnessed Irwin’s horrific death, told the I’ve Got News for You podcast he ‘had a bad feeling’ about the documentary shoot in Queensland. Pictured at Irwin’s memorial service on September 20, 2006, in Beerwah

Elsewhere in the podcast, Stainton admitted he never wanted to film the Ocean’s Deadliest documentary in the first place.    

He claimed he’d had a ‘premonition’ that he would die during the trip, and even tried to convince Irwin’s investors at Discovery to cancel the production. 

He even wrote a will and underwent medical checks to see whether he was dying, but doctors confirmed Stainton was in fact healthy.    

Bad feeling: In a bizarre twist, Stainton claimed he'd had a 'premonition' that he would die during the trip, and even tried to convince Irwin's investors at Discovery to cancel the production. John Stainton, Teri Irwin and Steve Irwin are pictured in June 2002

Bad feeling: In a bizarre twist, Stainton claimed he’d had a ‘premonition’ that he would die during the trip, and even tried to convince Irwin’s investors at Discovery to cancel the production. John Stainton, Teri Irwin and Steve Irwin are pictured in June 2002 

In a tragic twist, it was Irwin who would lose his life during filming. 

Stainton is credited with bringing Irwin to the small screen and creating an international phenomenon out of the knockabout Australian wildlife enthusiast.  

Irwin first ‘amazed’ Stainton with footage of himself catching crocodiles in the 1980s, and he was by his side when a stingray took his life. 

The man behind his success: Stainton is credited with bringing Irwin to the small screen and creating an international phenomenon out of the knockabout Australian wildlife enthusiast. Pictured: Irwin on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in August 1998

The man behind his success: Stainton is credited with bringing Irwin to the small screen and creating an international phenomenon out of the knockabout Australian wildlife enthusiast. Pictured: Irwin on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in August 1998 

Special talent: Irwin first 'amazed' Stainton with footage of himself catching crocodiles in the 1980s, and he was by his side when a stingray took his life

Special talent: Irwin first ‘amazed’ Stainton with footage of himself catching crocodiles in the 1980s, and he was by his side when a stingray took his life

'It was probably the worst experience I've ever felt': Unfortunately, Stainton was left with the grim task of briefing Irwin's wife Terri and the world's media about Irwin's death. Pictured: John Stainton, Teri Irwin and Robert Irwin at Steve's memorial service in September 2006

‘It was probably the worst experience I’ve ever felt’: Unfortunately, Stainton was left with the grim task of briefing Irwin’s wife Terri and the world’s media about Irwin’s death. Pictured: John Stainton, Teri Irwin and Robert Irwin at Steve’s memorial service in September 2006 

Unfortunately, Stainton was left with the grim task of briefing Irwin’s wife Terri and the world’s media about Irwin’s death. 

‘It was probably the worst experience I’ve ever felt,’ he previously told Australian Story.

Stainton recalled how he walked into his first press conference with reporters but was overcome with emotion and said ‘I can’t do this’. 

Support: Stainton played a key role in helping the family through Steve's death. He's pictured with Bob Irwin and an Australia Zoo staff member, two days after the tragedy

Support: Stainton played a key role in helping the family through Steve’s death. He’s pictured with Bob Irwin and an Australia Zoo staff member, two days after the tragedy

After a few minutes composing himself, he willed himself to continue, telling himself Irwin would ‘want you to do this’.

He sat down at the front of the room, and told the world: ‘He died what he… he loved doing best. He left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. He would have said, “Crocs rule.” Okay. Questions?”

Irwin is survived by wife Terri, 57, daughter Bindi and son Robert.

How they were: Irwin is survived by wife Terri, 57, daughter Bindi, 23, and son Robert, 17. All pictured in June 2006

How they were: Irwin is survived by wife Terri, 57, daughter Bindi, 23, and son Robert, 17. All pictured in June 2006 

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