Terri: “I’m not looking for love – I miss Steve”
Terri Irwin lost her husband – crocodile hunter Steve Irwin – 12 years ago, but along with her kids, she’s determined to continue his legacy…
The world was devastated T when well-loved environmentalist and presenter Steve Irwin died suddenly after being attacked by a stringray in Australia in 2006.
But the woman dealt the biggest blow by his death was his wife Terri – who married the animal activist in 1992 – and who tells Closer that, even though he died 12 years ago, she still feels her husband’s presence every day.
Terri, who starred alongside Steve on their unconventional wildlife documentaries, which saw him wrestle with crocodiles and handle venomous snakes, says, “I always wish Steve was here, but I do feel he’s watching over us.
“Every day, we make a conscious decision to celebrate life as he would have wanted, instead of just being sad. At the end of the day, we name three things – our favourite part of the day, what we’re most looking forward to tomorrow, and what was our good deed today – that way, we’re able to focus on what makes us happy, and not just miss Steve.”
Terri, already an animal lover throughout her childhood in Oregon and a trained veterinary technician, travelled to Australia in 1991 to tour wildlife rehabilitation facilities. It was during this trip that she met Steve – whose father founded the now world-famous Australia Zoo in Queensland – and the pair fell in love. Within eight months, they were married.
Part of their honeymoon was filmed for
what would become the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter, a wildlife documentary series that became popular due to Steve’s daring stunts with animals and his lovable “crikey” catchphrase.
The couple had daughter Bindi, now 20, and son Robert, 14 – who was just two years old when his father died aged 44. Terri, now 54, was away with the children when news of Steve’s death broke across the world in September 2006, after he was attacked by a stingray while filming for a documentary series in Queensland.
The mum of two says that it was years before she was able to put away Steve’s belongings, but admits the hardest part of his death was watching her children grow up without their dad.
She says, “The milestone moments are really difficult – when the kids get a good grade, or when Bindi got her first boyfriend.
“I hope he’d be proud of them. Robert is exactly like his dad, physically and in his
mannerisms. And when I watch him talk, so much of what he does is like Steve. Bindi is a tender soul, but is up for anything and is a stack of fun.”
After her husband’s death, Terri sparked speculation about a romance with A-lister Russell Crowe, but she has insisted that the actor is just a good friend and that she has no interest in dating.
She says, “If I hadn’t met Steve, I’d never have married. I’m content with myself and what I’ve got going on with my life. But I do think that it’s amazing when people have loved before and get the opportunity to love again.
“That’s really beautiful. Will it be me? I don’t know. I’m not really looking.