Home / Steve Irwin’s Father, Wife, and Coworkers Speak Out

Steve Irwin’s Father, Wife, and Coworkers Speak Out

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While the wife of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin hasn't held a press conference, Terri Irwin did take a moment to address the staff at Australia Zoo. According to Australia Zoo and Wildlife Warriors spokesman, Michael Hornby, Terri used the Zoo's two-way radio system to thank the staff for their support.

Terri's mother, Judy Raines, is expected to arrive in Australia from Oregon to help her daughter and grandchildren through this difficult time.

Steve's father, Bob Irwin, spoke with the media yesterday. "Terri's holding up very well, considering. She's extremely concerned for her children — Bindi [8] and Robert [2] — obviously. And that's the reason I asked the media to please give them a little bit of a break for the children's sake."

Bob Irwin went on to talk about the bond between father and son, saying they were more like mates. He said he would remember Steve as his best mate ever.

Regarding his son's work, the elder Irwin said he would work with Terri to carry on conservation efforts with her until the time the children are old enough to take over. Bob Irwin gave his son his start in working with animals and was the founder of Australia Zoo, which was called the Beerwah Reptile Park in the early '70s, the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park in the '80s, and was renamed Australia Zoo in the '90s.

Father and son spent years relocating rogue crocodiles in an effort to reduce the number of crocs killed after interacting with people or livestock. Techniques developed over time offered better results and cost less money, resulting in the Australian government requesting the pair's assistance with problem crocodiles.

Bob Irwin, practical bloke, insisted his son be formally trained in another trade, "just in case." Steve pursued an education in diesel mechanics, but never had to use his skills at a regular job.

Coworkers at Australia Zoo also spoke to reporters about the loss of the man who was not just their boss, but their friend. Peter Lang, marketing manager for the Zoo, said he can't quite reconcile the fact he won't able to work alongside Irwin again. Jon Hanger, senior vet at the Zoo, talked about the intuitive way Irwin had with animals — "you could see it whenever he was handling animals" — and he had special rapport with animals, regardless of whether or not they were found in the wild, at the Zoo, or were simply pets. He had a heart of gold and was "open-hearted, took you in as part of his family, not afraid to show emotion," said Michael Hornby. He continued on to say Steve Irwin is irreplaceable.

John Stainton, friend and filmmaker, has called for the footage showing the Crocodile Hunter's death to be destroyed once the coroner has finished with it. "At the moment it is in police custody for evidence. There's a coroner's inquest taking place at the moment. When that is finally released it will never see the light of day. Never. Ever," Stainton told Larry King on CNN. Animal Planet and Discovery Channel president Billy Campbell said, "Mrs Irwin would be consulted on any use of the footage of her husband's death."

Police reports regarding the footage indicate Irwin was in no way threatening or intimidating the stingray before it struck. Fellow documentarian Ben Cropp had not seen the footage, but had spoken to a friend on Irwin's vessel, Croc One. "He probably got too close. Do I think he was irresponsible? No, he was unlucky. I know because I've done it myself, but in my case the ray missed me."

Jim Fowler, former host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom said, "It's one of the biggest tragedies we could have in our world. The real challenge in this century is communication and Steve Irwin was a spokesperson for the natural world." Fowler also said working with animals "is one of the safest professions."

In addition to the vast video legacy left behind, Steve Irwin had sought to purchase available land as a means of preserving habitat for the animals he hoped to save. His plan was to have the land designated as wildlife sanctuaries, like national parks. As well, Australia Zoo and other Irwin-sponsored funds contributed to local medical and research foundations and projects to improve the lives of children in the area. Special events for ill children were often held at the Zoo. When travelling to impoverished countries, Irwin always brought much needed supplies and money to help the locals, especially if wildlife was involved. Providing people with opportunities to preserve natural resources was a high priority.

Update: For those wishing to send condolences to the Irwin Family, the Queensland Government has set up a web page making this possible.

If you'd like to make a donation in Steve's memory, the family has asked donations be made to the Wildlife Warriors Worldwide fund. This is the only official fund for donations made on the Crocodile Hunter's behalf.

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About Joan Hunt

  • Greatest fan

    My children and I have loved to watch Steve and now with this accident – WE need to have a closure to this unbelievable accident. I would like somekind of memorial service – public that is to be aired so that people can in a little way say good bye. There are millions that would love to attend but not possible but a service on the TV would help. Hope that there will be a service. God bless.

  • sanra anthony

    I was skocked and very saddened when I heard the news, I still cannot believe it, my heart goes out to his family and friends.

  • The world is a much sadder place now that Steve has left us, I hope his widow and friends continues all the good work he started at Australia Zoo.

  • We have opened a condoleance register at Dear Steve. You can say about Steve what you want, but he made such a huge impression on so much people. He deserves to be called a real legend.

  • Connie

    I am just so overwhelmed of this traffic incident.I would watch Steve Irwin’s program-The Crocodile Hunter every chance I got. I’m really gonna miss him. And prayers go out to his wife and family. God bless his children.

  • cezkie

    I just wanna say goobye steve,you will be missed,take our love with you,and we can never never forget you,you bring joy and love to everyone,for your family,my condolences,its too hard,to take, but this work that you do kills you,and its too hard steve. we love you and your on your own now.we will never forget you steve, goodbye.
    Cecille and glenn

  • Dese

    MY thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.I was so hopeing you would have a state funeraL Your husband was loved all over the world, and we all need a way to say good-by.He was truely a gift from God.
    God bless and your family

  • dear terri and children so very sad for you all hope God in His mercy will help you through this awful time my prayers are with you and the children

  • Kathleen Bialas

    Steve had such a love of life, such energy and passion about his work. I am having a hard time accepting his death. My heart is with you, Teri, and your children during this trying, horrid time. May God Bless and Keep You, Always. If you are ever in doubt about issues concerning the upbringing of Bendi and Bob, just pray for guidance. I know Steve is in a better place, and I seriously doubt he is sitting on a cloud, playing a harp. That just wouldn’t be heaven to him, would it? The Lord is taking care of him, now. He will be so missed. You are in my prayers. Knowing that he died doing what he loved is little comfort but, if he had to go, that is what he would have wanted.

  • Kimberly

    Its’s amazing how the death of someone you’ve never met can be so disturbing. I’ve spent hours online reading the articles in disbelief.

    Steve Irwin brought pleasure, interest, joy and laughter to our family, giving us an escape from the mundane aspects of life. His death is a horrific loss to the world and he will be sorely missed for years to come.

    God Bless his family and friends and all of you suffering in his interest.

  • Judy

    Steveo the world will be a sadder place without you. I cried when I heard ya was gone there has to be a special place for ya in heaven. Terri and your children will carry on your battle I am sure. Terri, Bindi, and little Robert I know the Lord and the people of the world are with you at this saddest of times. God bless ya always.

  • missy

    I agree with post #10. I actually cried. I felt the loss in my heart and stomach. It’s awfull.
    He will be missed by all.

  • Denise Brownlee

    Thank you for sharing your life with everyone. In doing so you have shared your death and touched many people, including myself, that didn’t know you but felt as if they did. God be with your family, they feel like our family too.

  • Courtney

    Dear Terri,

    I just wanted to know your address because I have something to send you. I am so sorry that Steve Irwin died. I loved his show. When I could get a chance, I would watch his show. Please send me your address. Thanks!

  • radhika, from india

    dear terri aunty,
    i jus want 2 tell u that every1 loves steve alot and u should only thank god for saring special moments as his better half. just remember he would always be with u, ur children and ur crocs.

  • amy

    steve was a very good man. i am sorry about steves deth it is a verty big shock to about steve.

  • ben

    i first meet steve about 18 months ago and we were sending emails every day and i think it’s upsetting that he died we arranged for me to go up to the zoo and help him out for a month.terri can u please please send me your address and email address so i can send u some things through the mail and some pictures through email.

  • Shirley

    Teri, my husband of 25 yrs passed over 3 yrs ago. just remember that he’ll always be around you. please look for the signs. Steve was one of the most unselfish men in the world. Their are so few leaders of people who really care in the animal kingdom that it is a real tragedy to lose him. Thank you for sharing him with us. I have been lucky enough to share in your journey since the beginning and like everybody, I feel like I have lost one of my best friends. All of my love and prayers go out to you and the chrildren. Shirley and her grandchirdren Johnny & Chelsea in Florida

  • danielle

    i just wanna say im so sorry to his family i loved to watch his programs and allways found bindi fasinating you could tell she was just gonna be like her dad and im sure she will carry on with the help of her little brother and mum what steve done he was a great man and is sadley missed.

  • DJ Greloch and Erika Greloch

    I will miss the show and Steve. It was very exiting.My family and friends liked him too.I was shocked when I heard the news I thought it would never happen. Well take good care of the zoo.
    I hope you still do the shows. Steve was a great legend. I think my Mom-Mom will even miss him more then ever. She always watched his shows with us.

  • Donna Holstine

    We would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the Irwin family, his close friends and everyone who knew him. He had a profound affect on me and my family in Charleston, West Virginia, USA. Steve and Terri taught our family so much about animals, conservation and love. We admired Steve for his enthusiasm, his special ability to show the beauty of nature and animals, even crocodiles, but most of all how he demonstrated his undying love for his family and friends. He has left with us an eternal legacy of wildlife conservation that will be continued by his family and friends. Steve, we will never forget you, ever. We vow to help continue your legacy by donating to the Wildlife Warriors. Godspeed, Steve.

  • kara cook

    dear teri
    steve was a very good man and did a very noble thing and i mourn for your loss. i hope you carry on what he started in his memory.

  • Josie Garmeister

    To Terri Bindy and Bob
    We want you to know we were very saddened by your loss. Even though I never met steve, i feel your pain and hurt and now that the days ahead will be hard as i recenty lost my mum. Today 10.09.06 i came up and my heart just broke. Terri i hope you dont mind but i left two little gifts for the kids something to try and help them through this hard time. You lost a loving husband and a great dad but the world lost a true icon, someone who stood for what a true blue aussie is. I hope to one day meet you and the kids terri. Please remeber you are in our prayers and thoughts. Steve memory will live on in his family, kids and the rest of the world.

  • elaine

    To Terri and children we are so sorry for your loss he will be sadley missed by many, including my son who has speacil needs i have never seen him cry so much. he was a very big fan of you all and watched both of you on dvds that we recorded over the years, he watches them every night in bed before he goes to sleep. it is a very sad time for you all, you will always be in our thoughts. elaine,matt,luke,liam

  • A very sad loss, Steve died doing what he loves doing. I will always enjoy the image of the man (and his family and friends) really enjoying life and nature as he did. He has brought a lot of joy to a lot of folk around the world. God bless.

  • to terri and the children,
    i am really sorry. i dont know how some that great could just pass away. He died doing something that he loved most and i feel greatly to you guys. He was a great dad a great crocodile hunter and a great husband. I hope he rests in peace. God bless

  • Cathy

    Terri, Bindi, Bob

    My heart goes out to you and your children. I know how hard it is to loose a loved one. I lost my sister 2 years ago she was the same age. Both to young. They will always be around us and in our hearts and memories. We loved to watch your programs. He will be greatly missed. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. God Bless in the days ahead. Cathy from Ohio

  • miranda jefferson

    Terri I am sorry for your loss Steve touched a lot of people and was a great inspiration to me because of him I aspire to be a vet and help animals like he did.

  • steve irwin rest in pees

  • steve

    im not surprised at all about Irwin’s death. He has played with fire his whole life and he got burned. Instead of stepping back focusing solely on conservation for his family’s sake; Steve had to be at the front lines with nature. Now his children are without a father. I thought that was a bit selfish of him. He was a great guy but he just totally lacked the foresight.

  • Lisa

    Dear Terri, Bindi, Bob and family:

    I was so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. He was a wonderful and caring person. His death has really affected me-I felt as though I knew him. Please know that the whole world shares in your grief. Terri, I hope you can continue on with your conservation work. I would love to see you with a show of your own. God bless

  • Coleen

    Hey my Name is Coleen first of all I always watch Steve Irwin’s show since when I was three.He was my role model. Now that his gone we have to be strong and continue what he had left us! His memories will live on for eternity! Like me i have a passion For animals especially reptiles and I hope Terri,Bindi,and Bob will somehow get thru this situation! I always pray for your health and i wish God will give You strength! Goodbye to you Steve! And Good night to you “Croc” Im Coleen,13 from Newjersey!

  • I’m still pretty dumbfounded by all that has happened, but I can say steveo is and will always be the best. I feel that everything happens for a reason ,so I hope that we will all learn from one of Gods greatest gifts and act upon it. The idea of his friends and family carrying on his work and keeping his mission alive is excellent. As an artist I’ve spent some time sketching out designs of steve the way he may have or be illusrtated and/or animated. I can say it’s been fun,what I’m trying to say or ask is it would be great if we could honor this magnificent man and everything he was in one or both ways. A comic book series and/or an animated series of steve and how it all started (wrestling and catching his first croc around the age of 9)there’s as legendary story waiting to be told. I understand there’s tons of work involved but I’m dedicated, now if you or some one else can see the endless possibilities lets try and spark a new direction of croc adventures. I’m trying to send work out and should have some to the zoo soon I hope the family can receive them through there. Thank for everything and may the lord be with you all. (Al Gator)

  • This e-mail is to Terri Irwin. Hi Terri, I feel the pain of your loss. I am also widowed…going on two years now. I am so sorry and it is so ironic how he came to pass. In my opinion, Steve was the first contemporary modern day Tarzan…simply loved the guy! I have two kids of my own I am left with. It is not easy and most challenging, but you will press on and move forward like the rest of us and like Steve would want you to do.
    This evening, my kids found a small grass snake, very small. They picked it up and knew it was harmless and played with it for hours until I told them to give it a rest. They learned this from living here in Wisconsin, and they learned it from Steve also. He was way cool and I shed tears thinking of his death, like many of us do. He was a funny and brave man and he sure knew his calling in this short life we have. I am glad and honored to have watched his shows…and although there are many who try to be like him, there will only be one Steve Irwin in my book!!! Press on and move forward because we all have to for the sake of Steve…Love Ya!!!…Tim

  • The love and enjoymemt of Steve and his family covered many generations. Grandchildren, great grandchildren and their grandparents and parents watched together and marveled at the genuine love Steve and Terry had for their children and all life. We shall continue to remember him as he was in life and watch and rewatch all his and Terrys’ television episodes. May she continue in his honor.

  • Karin

    Dear Terri, Bindi, Bob, father Bob, and all the Steve-lovers. I was on holiday when I heard the news on TV. It was a uge shock for me. I always watch his programs on Animal planet and you can say I’m a true fan. We were planning a holiday to Australia for next year so we could finally meet this legend. Steve was a great personality. He had his own unic way to make new fans with his enthousiasm. Some people think he was overdone, but that’s the great person Steve was. All the best to his closest family and friends. Hang in there. He will be missed terribly ! There are no words to discribe what kind of man Steve was.
    Steve : thanks for all the joy you gave us ! We’ll never foget you !

  • Betty

    Hi Terri, Bindi and Robert, I just wanted to send to you my prayers and thoughts at this time. You had a wonderful, energetic Husband and Father. He gave us all a great understanding of wild life and made learning about them fun. God Bless you all, Steve will never be forgotten.

  • jatk

    Dear Irwin Family, we are so sorry for your loss,we are still in shock over the tragic incident.My family loved the enthusiasim Steve would bring to the life of everything.My girls still can’t get enough of “The Crocodile Hunter”.They will watch every rerun that is aired. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Trinity

    dear bindy and bob, you are cute. i am sorry about the loss of your dad. i am 5 1/2 and i loved watching your dad on tv. i like your hair bindy. keep smileing.

  • Maddie

    hey teri,bob,and bindy…I am so sorry for the loss of Steve…he was an outstanding guy and I really enjoyed his show!I thought that it was terrible that he had to leave us! He was so cool and he taught me a lot of things!
    Thank you and I hope you guys will continue the wonderful zoo…I think you will and it will still be great
    Thank you…Maddie

  • Beth N.

    I wanted To say to you Terri, that I feel your pain, and know it hurts so bad. I loss my soul mate instantly in a tragic motorcycle accident on 9/7/05. I never thought I would make it through it. We also have two children aged 5 and 15, so I know how that feels as well. First off, I was told by his mother that this is something I will never get over, but will eventually learn to live with it and also that some day I would be able to think of memories of him and be able to smile instead of crying every minute as I did at first. They were right, it’s so nice to think of my Brian and be able to share a happy memory of him. It’s been a year, and I now have more ok days then those where I cried everyday in the begining. Watch the kids, my oldest’s life has emotionally fallen apart and I have her in children’s grieving programs that help a little bit. Everything takes time, and with time it will feel a little less devastating. You’ll go through shock, anger, sadness, and back curently I’ve done all three and am back to that shock stage once again, but the best thing that got me through those early days was writing about it in a journal. Write everything on your mind, write him letters, write your higher power letters about it all, and just keep going to get you through, IT WORKS!!!! My arms are around you in thought, giving you hugs when everyone wears off and no longer calls or comes by to see how you’re making it. Those days get lonely, but learn to use those great memories as your comfort. You’ll make it through this even though it doesn’t feel like it, and even though you may not want to, you will, and those kids need you to, just like mine has pulled me through this!

  • Toni

    Dear Teri, Bindi, bob and family.
    I just want to say i am very sorry about your loss, STEVE was a great caring true blue aussie.
    i and my family was very upset when we heard the news he was a great sign for Australia, and i know that he always will be. Australia and all of steve’s fans are here to support you. you can get through this he is by your side every step of the way i really hope you do continue with the zoo it would be great to see how it turns out.STEVE was a fun person and crikey was he great at what he does i am just very glad that he passed with something he loved doing again i am very sorry for you loss WE LOVE STEVE IRWIN and he will forever stay in and remain in our hearts. i do talk to alot of people from america they absoloutly loved him, on our msn we all have our signs (TU) means turtles for steve…TERI U HAVE FAITH…DONT EVER GIVE UP YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS WITH YOUR FAMILY AND AUSTRALIAS SUPPORT..with love toni R.I.P steve…

  • brittany

    hey you guys i just wanted to post that we miss you steve may you rest in peace in heaven with all of you croc adventures

  • My heart goes out to Terri, Bindi and Robert. Just wanted to let you know that you all are in my prayers.

    God Bless,


  • Amanda J

    Steve helped so many animals, and got his word out to the world! He was a true Wildlife Warrior. We will miss you Steve. To Terri,Bindi, Bob, and Steve’s dad Steve was amazing to watch and he educated so many people and kids about the wildlife. To Steve’s family, I wish you all the best, its goin to take alot of time to re-cover from this. The world is a lesser place with out him now. Rest In Peace Steve, your crocs are being well takin care of, WE LOVE AND MISS YOU ALWAYS! And WILL NEVER FORGET A GREAT HERO LIKE YOU!!

  • thank you steve for your time with us you taught the world all about wildlife and for that we can never repay you. thank you steve there will never be another you. to the family of steve you had the best of steve take comfort in knowing him how you did!!



  • lauren

    i love steve i know he dos not wonth people to kille stingrays so i got people to sien a paper so people will not kille stingrays. p.s. croks rule.

  • steve ,i hope you are happy were you are . p.s. crake mate

  • steve irwin was and still is the best man in and on australia hee touched us all expecalliy my 13 year old daughter she has made a scapbook and powerpoint and haas lots of postr and news reports on her walls. she loves him and always will she was ment to meet him this year but he passed away. any way stevo is the best man keep doin what you are doing terri, bindi and robert (bob). belinda

  • bob

    he was a very brave man and strong man

  • Marika Maselli

    Dear Terri

    My family and I still saddened at the loss of your loved Steve. This is how much of a difference he made to people’s lives. You must still be carrying on his legacy which would be to help animals. I must state that the most horrific thing I have come accross is the skinning of live dogs in China. Can you imagine their suffering. I have tried in vain to get 60 minutes involved but their words were (from a person called Julia) “THIS PROBLEM DOES NOT AFFECT AUSTRALIA BUT WE DO KNOW IF IT.” Well I know it is effecting many Australians and I believe that if this terrible thing was publiced it may stop. You can imagine the suffering as each second of the day. It was bad enough when we found out about the poor bears in China, now we hear about this in China qnd S. Korea. I have written to so many famous people and no one as yet has come back to me. I am only a hard working women with not much money but I do send donations to many different animal courses, but I am only one person. This cruely has to stop and I am sure that Steve would have agreed.

    May I congratulate you and your beautiful daughter for giving us so much to remember. I hope that time has helped your sad misfortune.
    I hope you respond.

    Kindest regards
    Marika Maselli

  • phillip

    u were the best steve i am doing a report about u and u are so kool and ur family and i am ur biggest fan and u are so kool

  • adam

    We’ll miss you Steve! I’am doing a report on you and you were awesome