Bindi Irwin is growing up and blossoming beyond the pigtails, but not without a backlash. The now 15 year old daughter of Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter, Bindi is making decisions for herself. Growing up in the wilds of Australia and tagging close-by as the side-kick to her famous dad, she has made a well known name for herself and her work with animals. She also has found both support and skeptics along the way, as she tackles her own projects in life.
Bindi was only eight years old when her father Steve died a tragic death. The elder Irwin, a conservationist, environmentalist and zoologist was most famously known as the Crocodile Hunter and hosted a show with the same name from 1997-2004. His untimely death did not halt his legacy from continuing, as his wife Terri and children Bindi and Robert have stayed the course with his dreams and ambitions with animals around the globe.
Always displaying bravery and willingly endangering his life, he also put his own children at risk at times. Teaching them not to fear animals, he exhibited a certain power over natural beasts, and little Bindi Sue became very accustomed to holding snakes and other dangerous creatures. She smiled and enjoyed it all and seemed fascinated with the exploration and discovery of the world’s most unusual animals. It was not second nature for Bindi, it was a regular way of life and what her family lived and breathed each day.
Controversy arose when Steve held his one month old son, Robert, in one arm as he hand-fed chicken to a hungry crocodile at a show in 2004. Irwin always seem to beat the odds with his daring stunts and control of the animals he handled. Bindi and wife Terri were close at hand to witness the events and assist with the shows and display of bizarre animals. The fateful day sadly came on September 4, 2006 when Steve was filming a documentary for The Discovery Channel.
Never afraid of anything, he swam with large stingrays as one injected a barb into his chest. Steve bravely tried to removed the spine of the stingray, ultimately ripping his own chest and heart muscle in the process. He died doing what he loved but the show went on without him. The Discovery Channel produced Ocean’s Deadliest in January of 2007, just five months after Irwin’s demise.
Bindi, her brother Robert and mother Terri have gone on to continue the work Steve set out to do. The family was established as a unit in the in the animal kingdom and has not stopped in the defeat of death. As Terri has not remarried, she stays active in animal causes. Bindi has written several books and has been in some films including Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove, produced in 2010. Robert is also working on books and TV projects.
As the years have gone by, Bindi has found a boyfriend and is now embarking on a new venture with Sea World. Appearing on Good Morning America and interviewed recently by Robin Roberts, Bindi announced her work with Sea World. She will be involved with the new program Generation Nature, aimed at kids to change the world. The wavy brown-haired beauty with blond highlights, is blossoming into an even stronger personality.
Always confident with the reassurance and strength from her parents, Bindi starred quite naturally in Bindi the Jungle Girl. The latest project could prove harder than anything she has ever done, or might expect, as skeptics and critics are wondering why. As in the film Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove showcased her as a saver of the great orca, she is now going to be working with orcas in captivity.
An animal lover from birth, the backlash from foes may not sit well in the long run with the happy-go-lucky gal. Already worth close to $3 million, Bindi may be bending the rules a bit as she blossoms into new projects. The questions are out there as to how much she will earn promoting programs at Sea World, as the park has suffered in recent years. Sea World seems to need all the help they can get to keep things going after the release of Blackfish, a documentary about captive orcas, last year. Bindi may well be the ticket to restored revenues at the park in Orlando, Florida, but in the long run, she may have to learn who her true fans are.
By: Roanne Fitzgibbon
Guardian Liberty Voice