Robert Irwin Carries on His Father’s Legacy with First-Ever Irwin’s Turtle Hatched

Robert Irwin / Instagram

The Irwin’s Turtle, a species discovered by Steve Irwin, has never before been hatched at any zoological facility in the world.   

Steve Irwin, who passed away in 2006, discovered the Elseya irwini, known as the Irwin’s Turle, on the Burdekin River, Queensland, Australia in 1990. This rare species of freshwater turtle has been at risk of extinction due to habitat loss and pollution. 

Robert Irwin / Instagram

However, the trajectory for the species took a positive leap forward last week when the first-ever Irwin’s Turtle was successfully bred and hatched at the Australia Zoo.  

Robert Irwin, son of Steve Irwin, gets emotional and describes the moment as “one of the highlights of my entire life.” 

In a video posted to social media, Robert Irwin introduces the newly-born Irwin’s Turtle to the world, expressing that it was one of the most special moments for both him and for the Australia Zoo. 

This species is one that Dad originally discovered out in the wild, and for the first time, we’ve got a little baby.” 

Robert released the young turtle into a “brand new” pond for its first swim. As he watches, he becomes overcome with emotion saying: 

It’s just so surreal – all the stories from Dad about just how amazing and beautiful they are… I don’t get emotional much. Dad would be stoked.” 

Steve Irwin’s hopes for his children come full circle with Robert’s achievement.   

Last month, Robert shared a touching video of his crocodile hunter father pondering what might make him want to give up the work he is doing. Steve responds: 

When my children can take the football that I call wildlife conservation and run it up. When they’re ready to run up our mission, I will gladly step aside. I guarantee you it will be the proudest moment of my life.” 

Warning: the video is a real tear-jerker. 

It is safe to say that Robert is indeed carrying on his father’s legacy and that Steve Irwin would be immensely proud

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