What Robert Irwin Wishes He Could Ask His Late Father Steve Irwin

Robert Irwin

When Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin died in 2006, his son, Robert Irwin, was only 3 years old. Fast-forward to today, and Robert is 20 and carrying on his father's legacy, both as an animal conservationist and at Australia Zoo—and there are a lot of things he wishes he could ask Steve.

Robert recently sat down with The Australian Women's Weekly to chat about his famous father. And if Steve were still alive, he would ask him about, well, everything.

"There is not a day that goes by that I don't think: 'Gosh, I wonder what I'd ask Dad if he was here,'" he told the publication. "When you lose someone, a father figure, at such a young age, who is such a commanding presence of positivity and everything that is good in the world, of course all I want is for him to be here for me; to go, 'What do you think about this? What do you think about that?' There are so many things I wish I could ask him on so many levels."

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On Sept. 4, 2006, Steve died after a stingray barb pierced him in the chest while filming in the Great Barrier Reef.

Robert explained that while he was too young to truly comprehend death, his mother, Terri Irwin, and older sister, Bindi Irwin, helped ensure his childhood was filled with joy.

"For Mum and Bindi, it was pure, unfiltered devastation and loss," Robert explained. "And it's the same loss for me but in a different way. So, the way they helped me to navigate my life, I am so grateful for it. I will always feel like I am missing a part of myself, but I never feel like I missed out on anything."

One way the Irwins kept Steve's memory alive for Robert as he grew up was by playing episodes of The Crocodile Hunter.

"That was with breakfast, every morning," he told the publication. "I remember studying it and watching everything he did. Mum made sure he was in the living room. Dad was part of everything."

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Steve's memory endures in other ways, too. On Feb. 22 —what would have been Steve's 62nd birthday—Robert shared a touching story about his dad's old motorbike, which he restored and still uses to this day.

"It’s a meaningful day to share this special story… on Dad’s birthday," Robert captioned the video he shared via Instagram. "It makes me so proud that his legacy lives on."

Next: Robert Irwin and Rorie Buckey Announce Breakup After 1 Year of Dating