Everyone’s hearts are with Robert Irwin after watching his latest TikTok video, and many are begging him to take a break from social media.
We all know Robert Irwin as the son of the late Steve Irwin.
And fans of the Irwin family from all around the world have taken joy in the last decade seeing Robert follow in his father’s footsteps by working tirelessly at the family’s Australia Zoo with his mom Terri and sister Bindi.
Now Steve Irwin was, and still is, Australia’s national treasure.
The Aussie was best known for his hit TV show, The Crocodile Hunter, and he was a strong advocate for conservation and animal rights.
The Crocodile Hunter was famous for Steve’s unconventional approach to wildlife…
And the series aired sixty-four episodes during 5 seasons, from 1997 to 2004.
He clearly had a passion for conservation.
And Steve would go to great lengths, both on and off-camera, to protect Australia’s wildlife.
His love for all creatures was easy to see…
And this is what made the entire world love him so much.
In 1992, Steve married the love of his life.
Terri, an American-born author, and conservationist who now resides in Queensland, Australia.
Terri starred alongside Steve in The Crocodile Hunter…
And it was easy to see that the couple were made for each other.
Not long after, they started their family.
Bindi Irwin was born in 1998 and Robert Irwin was born in 2003 – and it has to be said, they made the cutest family.
Both Bindi and Robert showed the same passion as their dad…
And took on his work at such young ages.
Sadly, back in 2006, things took a turn for the worst…
Steve was filming in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for the documentary series Ocean’s Deadliest on the 4th of September when he was stung in the chest by a wild stingray barb during a snorkeling session.
It was soon clear that it was a deadly sting.
Whilst Steve believed he had only suffered a punctured lung, the stingray’s barb had actually pierced his heart, causing the conservationist to quickly lose consciousness.
He sadly died from his injuries.
“Even if we’d been able to get him into an emergency ward at that moment we probably wouldn’t have been able to save him, because the damage to his heart was massive. As we’re motoring back I’m screaming at one of the other crew in the boat to put their hand over the wound and we’re saying to him things like, ‘Think of your kids, Steve, hang on, hang on.’ He just sort of calmly looked up at me and said, ‘I’m dying.’ And that was the last thing he said,” one of the underwater cameramen tragically recalled.
Once they got Steve back to the main boat, the camera man performed CPR on him for an hour…
But tragically he was pronounced dead by paramedics shortly after.
The news was devastating for all who knew and loved him…
And, of course, the family that he had left behind.
It has been difficult for Terri and their children to navigate this loss…
But over the years, Terri has raised her children to remember their father and they have all worked together to honor Steve’s legacy by continuing to care for animals at Australia Zoo.
Years later, Robert and his sister Bindi speak only of the fond memories they have shared with their father…
And there’s a lot of them!
Terri and Steve’s kids have grown up into inspiring adults…
Bindi is twenty-three and Robert is eighteen, and it is amazing to see the pair pursuing careers in conservation and zoology just like their father.
Robert is just like his father in many ways…
And he has made many appearances on American TV to promote Australia zoo and the work that he and his family do for wildlife.
Most recently, he paid tribute to his father on Father’s Day.
“I had the best dad in the world. Thinking of him and remembering nothing but fun times,” he wrote on TikTok.
Sharing a sweet montage, Robert put together clips of the fond memories he had shared with his father.
Adding: “I hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day in the US – sending love to those who couldn’t celebrate with their Dad,” which pulled at our heartstrings if you ask us!
Indeed he’s a very busy eighteen-year-old…
And rather than spending his spare time going to parties and playing video games, Robert enjoys campaigning for conservation and animal rights, particularly for animals in Australia… just like his dad did.
But a video of his encounter with a crocodile went viral in February this year, after it left many appalled at his lack of respect for the animal…
People were shocked at the level of “cruelty” shown by Robert.
Robert was seen trying to feed one of the crocs at the zoo, called Casper, when he was almost attacked…
Casper totally ignored all the food that was being used to distract him away from Robert and instead repeatedly tried to strike him.
This resulted in the keeper yelling “Bail, bail, bail!!!” which saw fellow keepers rush into the enclosure to help him.
Thankfully neither Robert nor Casper was hurt in the process!
Robert then posted the video to Instagram, where he captioned it: “The finale of ‘Crikey! It’s the Irwins’ is on now, 8 pm in the USA so go check it out!
“We’ve definitely saved the best for last, including one of the most intense croc feeds I’ve done! We prioritize natural behavior with our crocs. By getting in their enclosures with them, and letting them put on those huge strikes from the water’s edge, they get to use all of their predatory instincts and they just love it!”
He concluded: “Plus we can educate everyone about their conservation. But safety for us is also crucial and you definitely have to know when to call it. And with such a powerful and quick croc like Casper, we had no choice but to bail!”
But after he shared his post, many criticized the keeper for his actions, claiming he is “using animals as entertainment.”
Robert has since addressed these comments, talking with hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon on Tuesday’s Today show.
“Everything always gets blown up and made a huge thing,” Robert said.
“For me, it’s an adrenaline rush, it’s an exciting thing to do — but for me personally, I feel closest to my dad when I’m in there working with the animals he loved.”
Robert continued: “So many of our crocodiles are the originals, the ones we’ve worked with from day one. It’s an honor for me to continue that legacy.
“Yes they’re dangerous, but they’re amazing creatures, deserving of our respect.”
Now, at just 18 years old, Robert has amassed millions of followers on social media, including TikTok, with his clips reaching almost 19 million likes.
He has also received tonnes of appreciative comments, which always mention his dad.
However, TikToker @sa99ymaggie recently imitated the typical response to one of Robert’s videos, as fans suggest it’s not always a good thing to mention his dad under every post…
The TikTok has been viewed 4.6 million times, and people took to the comment section to agree with her point…
One person commented: “Facts! Can people just let him live without mentioning his dad every second?!”
While another wrote: “NO SERIOUSLY LIKE ‘hi guys I saved a snake today’, ‘omg remember when your dad tragically died and you were only a child? that sucked!'”
You can watch the video here.
What do you think?