Burbank (California) Jan. 12, 2007 — Bindi Irwin, the 8-year-old daughter of the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, followed in her dad’s footsteps Thursday, using her American television debut to talk about animals.
The khaki-clad girl skipped across the stage holding a blue-tongued lizard as she greeted audiences of the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
“This is Spanky. He’s 10 years old,” Bindi told DeGeneres as she prodded the lizard to lick her face in an attempt to show its tongue.
“I just love animals. My dad really brought it out in me,” Bindi said. “He’s the one that made me.”
Her father, animal lover and conservationist Steve Irwin, died Sept. 4 from the poisonous jab of a stingray. Along with Bindi, he left behind his wife, Terri, and 2-year-old son, Bob.
Like her father, Bindi said she loves “all animals, great or small.”
She will star in a wildlife series to air on the Discovery Kids network early next year.
“I want to be like my dad,” she said. “I want him to be proud of me.”
The only footage showing Irwin’s death has now been destroyed, Terri Irwin told TV’s “Access Hollywood” in an interview airing this week that the tape was destroyed when it was no longer needed for the investigation into his death.
“There’s standard protocols for examining certain evidence and that’s no longer necessary, so we’re very proud that Steve’s last documentary is going to air and that’s his last footage with wildlife,” she said.
Irwin died while he was shooting two projects, including “Ocean’s Deadliest” for the Discovery Channel.
When asked by “Access Hollywood” about reports that she kept that tape, Terri Irwin responded, “Oh no, all footage has been destroyed.”
Steve Irwin’s manager, John Stainton, said Saturday that the completed “Ocean’s Deadliest” — minus footage from the day Irwin was killed — would be screened in the United States on Jan. 21.