When Steve Irwin died in a freak accident in 2006 — after the barb of a stingray pierced through his heart — animal lovers around the world mourned the loss of the beloved Crocodile Hunter star. Steve's wife, Terri Irwin — along with their two children, Bindi and Robert — have carried on his mission of animal conservation. As Bindi and Robert start families of their own, plenty of people have wondered: How did Steve and his wife meet, anyway?
How did Steve Irwin and his wife meet?
During an episode of Crocodile Hunter, both Terri and Steve described how they first met when she was a tourist in Australia and he was leading a crocodile demonstration. Terri had made a spur-of-the-moment decision to stop by the Australia Zoo while she was visiting in the Beerwah, Queensland, area.
"There was a crocodile demonstration going on with this guy. This man was in with a crocodile talking about animals the way you talk about what you had for lunch," Terri explained on the show. "'And now I'm going to feed this crocodile. Isn't he a little beauty?' the man was saying. And I thought, 'Well, I never really thought of crocodiles as beautiful, but I'll have a look.'"
She continued: "And then he handed the crocodile some food. It came screaming out of the water, grabbed the piece of food, and he was as calm as if he was mailing a letter in a letter box. I was sold. I thought this man is the most incredible guy I have ever seen. He's probably married. He's gotta be taken."
As for Steve, he was equally as smitten from the moment he locked eyes with his future wife.
"When I saw Terri in the crowd, I looked up and our eyes met and my heart just went, 'BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG,' just starting thumping. It was love at first sight," Steve said of the first time he met Terri.
He continued, "I know this sounds like it's coming out of some Mills & Boon love novel, but it's true ... So I wound up the demo — 'Yep, thanks for coming' — and then she stayed back and talked to me."
A photo of Steve and Terri's first meeting was taken, by the way, and it's something the family treasures to this day.
During an interview with Us Weekly, Terri shared that Steve was 29 and she was 27 when they first met at the Australia Zoo — and that he revealed he was single in a pretty cheeky way.
"The first thing [I] think is, you know, 'Oh, he's probably in a relationship.' But I didn't know how to say, 'Hi, we've just met. Are you in a relationship?'" Terri said of the first time she met Steve. "And so I think he kind of sensed that. So he said, 'Would you like to meet my girlfriend?' And I just felt utterly crushed ... And so he called out, 'Hey, Sue! Hey, Suey!' and here comes this little dog, Suey."
Yep, that sounds exactly like the "Crocodile Hunter" we all knew and loved! (We miss you, Steve Irwin!)
Catch all three seasons of Crikey! It's the Irwins on Discovery Plus.