Crikey! Robert’s Irwin is bringing all he feels!
On Saturday, the wildlife conservationist celebrated the Australia Zoo’s latest milestone, and it has a special connection to his late father, Steve Irwin.
“Wow. This was a special moment,” he wrote next to a video. “I think Dad would be pretty proud that we’ve become the first to successfully breed the turtle that he discovered. A rare, and unique species under threat in the wild has just been given a second chance.”
In the clip, Robert talks to the camera as he holds a baby Elseya Irwini turtle, a species of turtle that was named after the Crocodile Hunter, following his discovery of them in the 90s.
“This is one of the highlights of my entire life and one of the most special moments ever for Australia Zoo,” the 19-year-old says as he holds the little turtle in his hand. “This is the very first Elseya Irwini turtle ever hatched for any zoological facility anywhere in the world.”
Robert went on to explain that the species was the first turtle his father discovered out in the world, and celebrated the first hatchling. In another sweet moment, Robert proudly let the turtle off his hand and into the pond for their first swim.
“It’s just so surreal,” he said. “And all the stories from dad about just how amazing and beautiful they are.”
He continued, as he became visibly choked up, “I don’t get emotional as much. Dad would be stoked with that. We did it.”
Steve — known around the world as The Crocodile Hunter – – died at the age of 44 in 2006.
Robert’s comments were met with support from people who remember his father’s legacy. One special comment came from his girlfriend, Rorie Buckey, who wrote, “So cool.”
The wildlife warrior not only resembles his father, he has his love of wildlife — and has had some close encounters as well.
In June, Robert shared a video after he was bitten by a carpet python snake, decades after his father had the same type of run in.
“Déjà vu. Dad and me getting bitten by the same species of snake (carpet python) decades apart,” Robert captioned the videos. “I found this python on the side of a road, but as you can see, sometimes snake rescues don’t quite go to plan 😂”
Both Robert and Steve took their bites in stride, gently handling the snakes while also trying to clean up the blood from the incident.
“I got a little too close, so he gave me a bite. They’ve got extremely sharp teeth like little needles,” Robert explained of the attack.
For more on the Irwins, click below.
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