A letter written by Steve Irwin (a.k.a. The Crocodile Hunter) to his parents, penned when he was 32, has been discovered nearly 10 years after his death.
Steve died after being stabbed in the chest by a stingray barb in September 2006 while filming an ocean documentary.
In the letter, Steve thanks his parents Bob and Lyn, and expresses gratitude for all they’d done for him. The letter is published in its entirety in Bob’s memoir, The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father and Son Legacy, out on Oct. 25.
Bob revealed that he found the letter this year when it fell out of a book he was reading.
On the envelope the letter was contained in, Steve had written, “Please be happy to know that your strength and wisdom have been passed on.”
“Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a ‘Bloke’s Life’ is that it takes over 30 years to realize how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS,” wrote Irwin, 12 years before his death. “At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength! For the rest of my life I will reflect on the unbelievably GREAT times we’ve shared and will continue to share. You’re my best friends!”
Bob and Lyn are both naturalists, as Steve was, and they instilled that same passion for wildlife and the outdoors in their son.
Steve left behind his wife Terri and his kids, daughter Bindi and son Robert.
On Bindi’s 18th birthday, she posted a tribute photo of herself with Steve.
Bindi has followed in her father’s footsteps by helping to contribute to wildlife preservation and conservation. She donates 10 per cent of all her earnings to Wildlife Warriors, a charity founded by her family in 2002.
In October 2014, Bindi was awarded Young Conservationist of the Year by the Australian Geographic Society.