Steve Irwin was an icon when it came to educating others about wildlife and their conservation and his family has done a good job of following closely in his footsteps.
And despite the tragedy of the Australian bushfires, it also highlighted just how faithful the Irwin family is to their patriarch’s legacy.
This is why while discussing the impact the bushfires are having on Australian wildlife, Robert Irwin had to choke back his tears. Ecologists at the University of Sydney already warned last week that close to half a billion animals have already perished from the fires that are ravaging the continent.
Robert was with his mom Terri being interviewed at Sunrise when the clearly distraught 16-year-old said: “It’s definitely an ongoing issue and we’re just trying to do our best to help in any way we can.
“But it’s a pretty tough situation. We’re absolutely heartbroken.”
Terri then started describing why Australia’s koala population has been especially devastated by the fires.
She said: “The consideration with koalas is that their instinct is to go up, safety is in the top of the tree, and with a hot fire, eucalyptus trees have so much oil in their leaves they actually ignite and explode. So being able to treat koalas is few and far between because they’re basically incinerated, which is absolutely heartbreaking.
“But now is the time we need to look at more than just setting aside habitat. Koalas are classed as vulnerable and I think that after this event we need to really sit down and look at classing them as endangered and protecting our icons, our kangaroos, our koalas.”
The Irwin family has done an amazing job with Bindi Irwin having announced last week on Instagram that their family had already helped treat more than 90,000 animals.
The post read: “With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much. I wanted to let you know that we are SAFE. There are no fires near us @AustraliaZoo or our conservation properties. Our Wildlife Hospital is busier than ever though, having officially treated over 90,000 patients.
“My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother. We will continue to honor her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can.”
Robert explained that the animals were getting harmed in different ways.
He said: “We’re seeing all kinds of different injuries.
“Obviously smoke inhalation and burns are happening frequently, but also animals are going into areas where they’re not supposed to be to escape the horrific conditions.”