Bindi Irwin Says G'Day to America

ByABC News via via logo

Jan. 21, 2007 — -- "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's wife, Terri, and their daughter, Bindi, are carrying on his message through live performances in America about the wonders of wildlife, just as the documentary he was filming when he died will be aired.

"It's been a fantastic tour," Terri Irwin told "Good Morning America." "I think Australia is an easy sell and it's unlike any destination on earth."

On the tour called "G'Day USA," which promotes Australia, 8-year-old Bindi performs with the children's group The Wiggles. On the Los Angeles leg of the tour, she and her mother were surrounded by stars such as Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette and Olivia Newton-John.

Steve Irwin was the tour's headliner in past years. Since his death, Bindi has taken on that role.

"Even independently of Steve, we've always been wildlife warriors. … After losing Steve, we wanted to continue," Terri said. "It was important to continue filming and spreading the word about Australia."

Irwin's last documentary "Ocean's Deadliest" airs Sunday night on Animal Planet.

His wife, Terri, has seen the film.

"It's some of Steve's best work. It was put together brilliantly and it's difficult because it's not historic Steve; it's Steve as I last remember him," she said. "So yeah, that part is difficult. But I am so immensely proud of the work that he's doing and I'm really proud that people are gonna be able to see it."

Terri said she hopes the film will serve as an education tool, reminding everyone of Irwin's passion, including his children.

On most mornings, the family starts their day by watching what they call "daddy television."

"I think it's really comforting to see my dad and just look at him," Bindi said. "And because every day, sometimes I watch what he does and things, so when I'm doing like an interview like this … I can see how he did it and get good … lessons."

It's these lessons that Bindi takes to the stage.

"I think about him just looking at me," she said. "Like at the dinner table and stuff, he used to say, 'Oh, Bindi, I'm so proud of you, good job, well done.' It was really nice."

Terri said Irwin would be proud of the work Bindi is doing.

"We definitely feel him with us, so still proud," she said.

Although Terri knows that working with animals can be dangerous, she said that the work is so important and that it's what Bindi wants to do.

"Bindi's really, you know, got her own goals and aspirations, and if I can nurture what Bindi loves, then I think I'm being a good parent," she said. "Because Bindi's got a natural love for wildlife, I think that will be part of what we're nurturing."

Bindi agreed.

"Yeah. I'm my own person. Nobody can make me be what I'm not. I'm not an actor," she said. "I'm, I'm happy when I'm happy, and I'm sad when I'm sad. I have my good days and my bad days, and nobody can control me. I'm me and that's it."

Bindi said she enjoys performing in the show.

"It's very cool because everyone's cheering and it feels really nice to get out there and just be me and just do what I love to do, sing and dance," she said. "It's really hard to explain but it. It's a great feeling."

Bindi said her mother looked great walking down the red carpet at a recent event in Los Angeles.

"She was beautiful. … She's just magnificent," she said. "I get to wear a dress next time."

Although some animals are different in the United States, Bindi said that most are the same as the ones she sees in Australia.

"But there's way less kangaroos," she said.

"There's mammals and reptiles wherever you go," Terri Irwin added.

Following her father's death, Bindi has publicly maintained a happy demeanor. When asked how she does it, she replied, "I'm just being myself. … It's so much fun, it's really nice."

Children in the "Good Morning America" audience were encouraged to ask Bindi questions. One child asked about the best piece of advice Bindi's father ever gave her for handling animals.

"If it's out in the wilderness -- like snakes -- leave it alone just look at it; don't touch it," she said.

Bindi called performing in the United States "really cool."

"For Bindi, being on stage has been nice," Terri Irwin said. "Bindi said she had a few butterflies in L.A."

"What does it feel like to have so many kids look up to you?" another child asked.

"It's really nice because people actually like us," Bindi said. "And it's really nice to have people going, 'Hi, hi, hi.'"

Terri said there was another advantage to their status as public figures.

"It's good, too, getting the wildlife message out," she said. "It gives us the opportunity to talk about why animals are so special."

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