Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and his wife Terri Irwin created the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation back in 2002 in the hopes to better educate the public about the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife.
Four years later, Irwin passed away at the age of 44. Yet his charity lives on.
Now known as Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, the charity is now led not only by Terri, but her and Steve’s two children – Bindi and Robert. Bindi recently took some time to talk to One Country about the charity itself, her work within it and how it continues to keep her late father’s spirit alive.
ONE COUNTRY: You have been involved in your charity Wildlife Warriors literally your entire life. How does giving back in this way add to your overall life?
BINDI IRWIN: Our conservation work isn’t just what we do, it’s a part of who we are. It’s an incredible privilege to do so much for wildlife and wild places around the world. I believe that we’re all put on the planet for a reason. I’m glad I found my purpose of doing my best to make the world a better place so early on in life.
ONE COUNTRY: How has your role in Wildlife Warriors changed as you have gotten older?
BINDI IRWIN: My passion for making a positive difference has certainly grown over the years. It’s wonderful to do so much for conservation with my beautiful family. Together we have protected nearly half a million acres of conservation property in Australia. We have cared for over 87,000 wildlife patients at our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital with the goal of giving each animal a second chance at life and releasing them back to the wild. We support cheetah and rhino conservation work in Africa and employ a team of 60 rangers in Sumatra to dismantle illegal tiger snare traps. We’ve also funded and participated in over 50 conservation studies, learning more about how to better protect our wildlife and wild places. It’s certainly busy and we’re so proud of all the work we’ve achieved.
ONE COUNTRY: Your dad would be so proud of all of you. Do you feel his spiritual presence during various events for the charity?
BINDI IRWIN: I believe that Dad lives on in everything we do. I can feel his spirit with the wildlife he loved at Australia Zoo and our fundraising work for Wildlife Warriors at our Steve Irwin Gala Dinners. Mum and Dad started all that we do for wildlife and it’s an honor to ensure it carries on into the future.
ONE COUNTRY: Are there any other charities you would like to get involved in, or start yourself?
BINDI IRWIN: Wildlife Warriors Worldwide will always be our charity. My amazing parents started it back in 2002 and every year our conservation work expands. This last year alone we added conservation projects, supporting whale shark research in Australia, an all female anti-poaching unit in Africa and built a sea turtle rehabilitation center. I’m most passionate about continuing the extraordinary charity work that we have dedicated our lives to.
Crikey! It’s the Irwins airs Saturdays at 8PM on Animal Planet.