'Happy birthday Dad. I love you and I miss you more every single day. My earliest memories are my fondest, thanks to you,' Robert wrote.
Bindi and Robert Irwin shared emotional tributes to their late father, the legendary "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, on his birthday Tuesday. Irwin, who died at the age of 44 on September 4, 2006, after he was stabbed by a stingray barb off the coast of Australia, would have turned 60 years old this year. Bindi and Robert—who've carried on their father's legacy of wildlife conservation and rescue—both reflected on his life and career and shared throwback photos of their younger selves with their dad. "Happy Birthday to the greatest dad and Wildlife Warrior," wrote Bindi.
"Today I'll watch 'The Crocodile Hunter' with Grace Warrior and share stories about her incredible Grandpa Crocodile," the 23-year-old continued. "I love you with all my heart. Your legacy lives on." While Bindi posted a photo of herself as a child with her dad and a snake, her younger brother Robert shared a snap of himself with his dad on a bike. "Happy birthday Dad. I love you and I miss you more every single day. My earliest memories are my fondest, thanks to you," the 18-year-old captioned the image. Hanging on tight to the handlebars of the motorbike, when you'd take Bindi and I on your morning lap of the zoo - before going to get ice cream for breakfast."
"Every minute spent with you was a blessing. I'm gonna ride that lap on your old motorbike this afternoon," he added. Following Irwin's untimely death, his family—including widow Terri, Bindi and her husband Chandler Powell, and Robert have continued his conservation work at Australia Zoo. A message posted on the zoo's Instagram account in honor of the icon's birthday encouraged fans to take a page out of Irwin's book. "Celebrating everything about the original Wildlife Warrior on his 60th birthday today. Amazing dad, husband, conservationist, and teacher with a passion for protecting and appreciating all living things on Earth," it reads.
"Take a minute to do something kind for our planet today in honor of Steve," the post added. Bindi was eight and her baby brother Robert was only 2-years-old when their father tragically passed away. Although Irwin shared an incredibly close bond with his relationship, he admitted in an old interview that he'd never wanted to be a dad. "You know what? I never wanted to be a dad. I couldn't really give a rip. And now, I'm the proudest father, I gotta tell ya," Irwin said of his daughter in the interview.
"I can't dwell on her for too long or I start bawling my eyes out. When I go into the field, I've got a photo, I've got a photo of me and my daughter and I can just sit there and just start crying, just looking at her," he continued, his voice breaking with emotion. "Who would've thought someone as ugly as me could bring into the world something so beautiful, such a treasure?" Later in the interview, Irwin shared his approach to parenthood. "All I do is treat her exactly how I would want to be treated," he said. "One of the greatest battles that I've got is trying to keep Bindi normal."
"Like, spending as much time as she wants with other kids, but also taking her everywhere. If I'm going jumping on crocs, then by crikey I want her jumping on crocs with me," Irwin added. Sharing the emotional clip from the interview on her Facebook page a few years ago, Bindi wrote: "Every time I watch this clip my heart overflows with emotion. The people that we love are always with us. Love lives on no matter what and I think that is the most beautiful thing about our existence. Thank you, Dad, this moment captured on camera made my whole life. I love you so much."