The brave man who coined the term “crikey” and made us all sit at the edge of our seats while watching him with wild animals, has left our lives for over a decade now. Our lives have been quite empty without the thrill-seeking man who always put a smile to our faces but looking at photos of him always brings the kind-hearted man back to life.
Before Steve Irwin became The Crocodile Hunter, he was just an ordinary Australian guy who loved to play on the wild side. His bubbly personality and high energy were always with him though, which is probably what made him as famous as he was. To the world, Irwin was more than just a crocodile hunter, he was like a best friend. Generations grew up watching him tame reptiles, with his wife Terri by his side, and later, his two children. Now, after his passing, we thought we’d share some rare photos of the man who was so connected to animals and us, too.
25 Before It Began
Irwin created a legacy, and before he started messing around with crocodiles, the young Irwin started small. Living in Australia, it may not have been too difficult for Irwin to find creatures to be daring with.
Looking like a young hunk, here he is holding a platypus, with a stare so passionate and mesmerizing.
24 A Precious Photo
We suddenly got a flashback to The Lion King, when Rafiki holds Simba for all of Pride Rock to see. Now that we think of it, Irwin reminds us a lot of Mufasa, who was the leader of the pact and so proud of his child.
We simply adore candid moments like these of Irwin and his family, as we mostly only saw him venturing off with animals.
23 Is This How It Started?
The wildlife expert probably made a career out of what started as a hobby. Many of us grew up fishing and still do so – if so, you know the exhilarating feeling of catching fish very well.
Well, Irwin eventually ditched the tiny fish for crocodiles for an even greater rush. It turns out the apple does not fall far from the tree, as his parents were wildlife experts, too.
22 They Were The Best Of Friends
We do not blame you if you were obsessed by the Australian naturalist, conservationist, and herpetologist. The man in khaki clothing was full of life and truly had a heart of gold.
What made us most smitten about him though, was his love for his children. Bindi, who is continuing her father’s legacy, is pictured here in a rare photo with her father being his usual playful self. He even let his daughter wear wings!
21 Throwback To 1999
There is absolutely nothing that could have gotten in the way of this power couple; no, not even a crocodile.
The wife and hubby were both wildlife enthusiasts and shared an in-depth love for animals, which is what initially brought them together. With Irwin holding the crocodile and Terri next to him smiling, it’s like they were showing off their new-born.
20 Behind The Scenes
Irwin left a permanent stain on our hearts; his personality was infectious and his zest for life, incredible. However, we did not get to see much of him out of his khaki uniform.
An off-camera moment like this with his wife and daughter, Bindi, are moments we were not introduced to back then. We feel the love and it hurts.
19 Our Hearts Are Aching
Does it get any more epic than this photo? Although complete nostalgia has kicked in, looking at this photo made us quite sad. The two legends, who got together in 1994, took this gorgeous black and white photo together.
Unfortunately, these two men who changed the world are in heaven right now – and probably having a great time.
18 Bindi Started Young
Bindi is now all grown up and dresses in khaki from head-to-toe. The beautiful Bindi was only 8 years old when she lost her father, so we did not get to see much of her on her father’s show. Irwin was quick to introduce his daughter to her parents’ wildlife, with a plush snake.
We know that we would have been crying if a snake was grazing our faces – even if it was not a real one.
17 Irwin, A Rockstar?
On quick glance, we would have thought that this was a photo of a member of a rock band – no, it is our beloved thrill-seeking hunter. With his shiny and shaggy blonde locks, he could have easily been the lead singer of Pink Floyd.
A real throwback to the days Irwin was just your ordinary fella embracing the 70s.
16 True Love
We just got the chills; it is hard looking at this photo of the couple who were hopelessly devoted to one another. They not only had deep compassion for animals but for one another as well. They showed the world that their hearts were made for one another.
And evidently, a photo was not complete without an animal lingering.
15 Rolling In The Mud
If Irwin was not scared to waddle around in the water with crocodiles, then he obviously did not mind getting dirty in some mud.
Candid moments like these, that did not make the cut for his show or films, are the most special. They show off his young heart and desire to live life to the fullest. And hey, who looks that good with mud on their face?
14 A Camel?
If you follow Bindi on ‘gram, you’ll notice she has a few pictures cuddling camels, and that just maybe because of her father’s photo with a camel. Not used to seeing Irwin with animals that are not deadly, we find this photo to be quite peculiar.
His love was obviously not only reserved for crocodiles.
13 Before ‘Crikey’ Came Along
Crikey – Irwin was basically surrounded by wildlife his entire life! We are trying to recall the last time we saw Irwin with such a tiny animal.
From an early age, Irwin devoted his life to crocodiles, by constantly rescuing them, no matter what size. This photo was before Irwin became The Crocodile Hunter we knew him as.
12 Hubby And Wifey
You know it is true love when you let a python come between you and your lover. Mrs. Irwin looked extremely content to have both her man and a snake wrapped around her, and Irwin was just laughing about it. Such crazy antics, but they were silly each time together.
We love the vintage look of photos from the 90s, as all facial expressions look so natural.
11 His Love Was Unreal
We did not need to be told that Irwin loved unconditionally, it showed in all that he did. Besides being a hyper and enthusiastic man, he was an exceptional father. I
n rare moments like these with his daughter, who was just then born, Irwin looked his happiest - cue the tears!
10 Clowning Around
If there is one thing that Irwin was good at, it was at being the joker in the room. He’d be in the water yelling out “Crikey!” about one-hundred times on camera, while quietly sneaking up to animals, and the next moment he’d be jumping around.
In an off-camera moment, Irwin took the opportunity to show his strength and quirkiness by picking up his beautiful wife.
9 Dr. Irwin At Your Service
Irwin made just about anything look fun, even being a doctor or a vet. We were so not used to seeing him out of his khaki uniform, that we found this photo was totally crikey-worthy.
Who knows what he was up to when this rare photo was taken? All we know is he would’ve made the funniest and wittiest doctor ever.
8 A Very Young Irwin
Woah – Irwin was a total beach babe! We wonder if he knew back then what he was bound to become, as we never saw the passionate fella kicking back and relaxing.
To see a crocodile IRL may be a rare sight, but seeing Irwin just chilling on the beach was one of those rare instances, too. And please take a second to check out that toned tummy.
7 A Family Portrait
We do not know the date of this picture, but it must have been just a little bit before Irwin’s passing judging by the children’s looks.
Of course, we’ve seen photos of the adorable family united, but seeing them all together in normal clothing and not by the lake was a rare sight. They surely cleaned up nicely together.
6 He Adored His Terri
Irwin loved his crocodiles and rescued them his entire life, but he gave his entire heart to his wife, Terri.
The two were meant to be without a doubt; while Terri always had a huge grin on her face next to him, Irwin was always busy being silly. Seeing him stick his tongue out to touch his wife’s face with it just made us fall in love with the couple all over again.
5 Carpe Diem
Long before Drake told us “YOLO,” there was Stephen Robert Irwin. Irwin lived by “Carpe Diem,” until the day of his death.
Everything he did was to ultimately make his life worth living. In a classic and serene black and white photo, a young Irwin was captured caressing his beloved crocodile.
4 Finally, A Household Pet
Irwin grew up around animals because of his parents, but since he made a life out of crocodiles, we were surprised to see this photo.
Since when did Irwin hold a pet in his arms that all us regular people do, too? In fact, this adorable black puppy was his dog and entirely his. Irwin loved his dog so much that he called her his girlfriend – that was before Terri came around.
3 When Irwin Walked Down The Aisle
The Crocodile Hunter avid fans may know this, but Irwin met his beloved wife in 1991, and it was love at first sight. Only eight months later, on June 1992, the couple wed and walked down the aisle in something other than their usual khaki clothing.
How handsome did he look on their big day?
2 Irwin And The Mini-Irwins
If you decide to go through your parents’ photo albums one day, chances are you’re going to see numerous photos that look just like this one. The family of four posed for a photo when son Robert was just born, and we just got teary-eyed.
The resemblance between his children and him was uncanny from the start.
1 Irwin, The Teen
Who is that? That is The Crocodile Hunter, the one who would be late for class because he’d make his parents stop on the way every time he saw an animal. Don’t you see Bindi and Robert in that photo, too?
The youngin’ with adorable freckles probably would not have shared this photo with the world.