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Bindi Irwin Recalls Wrestling a Crocodile at 8 Years Old

Crikey, mate! Bindi Irwin spoke exclusively with Us Weekly about her favorite memory of her father, the late Steve Irwin. Naturally, it involves crocodiles. The Australian native says she and her dad used to take annual crocodile-catching trips to Queensland to learn about the reptiles to educate people on these “modern-day dinosaurs.”

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“I was 8 years old … we caught a female crocodile that we were going to put a tracking device on,” she recalls. Her father had a tried-and-true capture technique that required the team to jump on the crocodile and hold it down while the device was attached. “This one day on our very last croc trip with Dad he decided I was old enough to be able to jump on the head of the crocodile. I was this little 8-year-old girl and Dad goes, ‘I believe in you. You can do this, sweetheart.’”

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Bindi, now 18, continues, “I just remember how excited I was that Dad believed in me to jump on the crocodile’s head. It was actually our last family photo together, this photo of me holding onto the crocodile’s head and my mom and dad and brother all on the crocodile as well. He believed in me, and all I wanted to do was make him proud. This was a really special moment and a really special photo.”

The teenage conservationist spoke with Us ahead of the second Steve Irwin Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 13. Bindi, brother Robert and mother Terri will honor Steve’s legacy and help raise money for his charity, Wildlife Warriors. “It’s a celebration of his life and his legacy,” Bindi tells Us about carrying on her dad’s work and raising money and awareness for Wildlife Warriors. “Dad was always so wonderful because he always said, ‘I don’t care if people remember me. I care if people remember my message.’”

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