Robert Irwin is celebrating his 17th birthday with a special cake and some even more special memories. The young nature conservationist took to Instagram to share an emotional video, cut together by the Australia Zoo, featuring flashback interviews with his late father, Steve Irwin, from around the time Robert was born.
“Our lovely Australia Zoo crew made this beautiful video to celebrate my birthday, and it means the world to me ❤️ I am beyond honoured to continue my dad’s legacy and I hope more than anything that he would be proud,” Robert captioned the video.
“I want to thank you for all of your lovely birthday messages and thanks to all who joined us for the celebrations at Australia Zoo today,” he continued. “Looking forward to seeing what this next year brings, in the last year of my childhood!”
In the video, the late “Crocodile Hunter” — who died in a tragic freak accident when Robot was only two — reflects on becoming a father for the second time and how proud his children have made him.
Speaking of the day Robert was born, on Dec. 1, 2003, Steve says that he “saw the light” when he looked at his minutes-old son laying on his wife Terri’s chest.
“When Bindi was born, I had the same sensation now with little Bob… it’s like this is why I was put here, because I could be dead tomorrow,” Steve says in the clip. “So I need these blokes to come up as quick as they can. This little bloke’s going to have to catch the crocs with Bindi!”
“When they’re ready to run up our mission, I will gladly step aside,” Steve concludes with his voice cracking. “Then and only then will I know that I achieved my ultimate goal. And my job will be done, and I guarantee you, it will be the proudest moment of my life.”
“Happy Birthday to my amazing brother! Your kind heart and fantastic sense of humour makes my every day. Our baby girl is going to love her ‘funcle’ (fun uncle) so very much,” wrote Irwin, who is pregnant with her and Chandler’s first child. “You’re one of the brightest lights the world has ever seen. I’ll always be here for you. Love you!”
Check out the video below to hear more about Robert’s work as a wildlife conservationist and how he’s always worked to honor his father’s important legacy.
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