"I don’t want Daddy’s passion to ever end," she told a crowd of 5,000 at Irwin’s public memorial at the Australia Zoo. "I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did...When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it’s our turn to help Daddy."
Since her father's death, Bindi has taken up his mantle. She made a fund-raising spot for Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, a charity he founded, and attended a ceremony in his place.
Bindi is also going on alone with a program that was to have featured her and her dad having outdoor adventures. "Bindi, the Jungle Girl" will debut on Discovery Kids network next year.
Trying to fill her father's sizable safari boots has brought criticism. Some people worry that Bindi is being exploited by adults for monetary gain. In Australia, child psychologists, child rights activists, and Irwin fans seem torn about what is best for Bindi.
But Bindi's father seemed to have addressed that question in an interview featured on Animal Planet in 2004. Steve Irwin said, "Is there anything in this world that would make me give away what I’m doing now? Yes, yes there is. When my children can take the football that I call wildlife conservation and run it up. When they're ready to run up our mission, I will gladly step aside. And I guarantee you it will be the proudest moment of my life. My job will be done."
Read Bindi's eulogy for her father. To learn more about Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, click here.
View 2006 nominees' photo gallery.