Barbara Walters Exclusive: Croc Hunter's Widow

ByABC News via logo
September 27, 2006, 7:11 AM

Sept. 27, 2006 — -- Terri Irwin says, for her, meeting "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin was love at first sight.

It was Oct. 6, 1991, and Terri was visiting Australia from Eugene, Ore., where she saw Steve doing a crocodile show in a small reptile park.

"And I was absolutely floored. That was it. This man was a real-life hero," Terri said to Barbara Walters. "I fell then and there, love at first sight, not a problem. I said to my friend, 'I got to meet this guy.'"

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Terri says she went up and introduced herself to him, and asked whether she could get a picture with him.

"I was gushing, and I felt like such a tourist and we did a big cheesy photo together," Terri said.

Afterward, they continued talking, and their connection grew.

"He was so passionate and honest and there he just bared himself to me as if we'd known each other forever," she said.

They were married six months later.

The Irwins became a family who lived with cameras, even in their most private moments.

The family's home-movie collection is extensive, and astoundingly intimate.

Cameras were present even at the births of their two children, Bindi and Bob.

Steve actually delivered Bindi, born in 1998, while cameras rolled.

"It's amazing," Terri said. "I always am astounded at how willing Steve was to share all about himself. And sometimes he got criticized for it. But he was so open and yet so private about some things."

Cameras and babies are usually a winning combination, but add a crocodile, as Steve did on one memorable occasion, and you have a recipe for controversy.