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…

Closer (UK) - - Inside This Issue -

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.”

WHIRL­WIND RO­MANCE

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.”

FEEL­ING CON­TENT

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.

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