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16th Oct 2023

Steve Irwin’s son fights back tears as he achieves conservation milestone

Joseph Loftus

‘We did it’

Robert Irwin, the son of the late great crocodile hunter and conservationist, Steve Irwin, has celebrated breeding an exceptionally rare turtle named after his dad.

While Steve tragically passed away in 2006 after being stabbed 100 times by a stingray, his children Robert and Bindi have continued his legacy.

Taking to social media over the weekend, Robert shared footage of the first Elseya Irwini (or Irwin’s turtle) ever hatched at a zoological facility anywhere in the world.

Captioning the post, Robert wrote: “Wow. This was a special moment. I think Dad would be pretty proud that we’ve become the first to successfully breed the turtle that he discovered.

“A rare, and unique species under threat in the wild has just been given a second chance.”

Speaking to the camera, Robert said: “This is one of the highlights of my entire life, one of the most special moments ever for Australia Zoo.

“This species is a turtle that Dad originally discovered out in the wild and for the first time we have got a little baby.”

Robert then began to get emotional as he contemplated what his dad would think of the hatchling saying: “It’s so surreal. All the stories from Dad about how beautiful they are.

“Dad would be stoked with that. We did it.”

Irwin’s turtle is native to Australia and was first discovered by Steve and his father Bob during a crocodile-catching trip on the Burdekin River back in 1990.

The turtle came under threat due to the development of the Burdekin Dam which caused a decline in water quality on the river making it harder for the species to survive.

Incredible news.

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