Robert Irwin grew emotional while listening to a special 19th birthday message from his late father, Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin.
Earlier this month, the young zookeeper celebrated his birthday at the Australia Zoo in front of a crowd when his mom, Terri Irwin, introduced a “video compilation of birthday messages.”
Among the birthday wishes from his friends and fellow celebrities, his late dad made an appearance where he spoke about the moment he “saw the light” when Bobby was born.
While showing clips of Steve introducing baby Bobby to the zoo visitors, the Crocodrile Hunter could be heard saying that despite his amazing work “saving wildlife,” he was ultimately “put here” to be a dad.
“This is why I was put here because I could be dead tomorrow,” he said in the video, adding that he needed his kids to grow up quickly “so this little bloke’s going to have to catch the crocs with Bindi.”
Upon hearing his dad’s words, Robert turned to his mother who gently rubbed his arm.
The video continued showing the teen at the family-run zoo over the years, carrying on his father’s mission.
“Then and only then will I know I have achieved my ultimate goal and my job will be done and I guarantee you it’ll be the proudest moment of my life,” Steve said in the video, causing his son to break down in tears.
After the video montage played, Robert addressed the crowd, admitting that it’s “impossible to not get emotional” after seeing his dad onscreen.
“It means the absolute world … I just think it’s such a privilege, personally and as a family, to continue the legacy of dad,” he said. “He gave his life, quite literally, for wildlife conservation and to make the world a better place.”
As longtime fans know, Steve died in 2006 at the age of 44. He had been pierced in the chest by a short-tail stingray barb while filming a television show.
At the time of his death, he had been married to Terri since 1992. They shared two kids: Bindi, who was 7 when he died, and Robert, who was 2.