Steve Irwin’s Legacy Lives On For 57th Birthday

Natalie Dest, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Remembering the impact of their loved one, Bindi, Robert and Terri Irwin honor the late Steve Irwin with heartfelt messages on what would have been his 57th birthday this past Friday.

“Thank you for always being my guiding light,” his daughter Bindi wrote on social media, sharing an old photo of her and her father. In the picture, Steve shares a grin at the camera while holding Bindi, now 20-years-old, in one arm and a koala bear in the other.

Bindi has been following in her father’s footsteps in the Irwin family’s Animal Planet series alongside her mom Terri Irwin, 54, and brother Robert Irwin, 15, as they run the Australia Zoo while doing worldwide protection for endangered animals.

Robert showed his appreciation to Google for creating a custom graphic as an honorary memory for his famous father.

“Thank you so much, @Google for honoring dad with his own #GoogleDoodle all over the world,” he wrote on Twitter. “A perfect way to celebrate his birthday, sharing everything he did to make the world a better place.”

Steve Irwin is heavily known for his show “The Crocodile Hunter,” a series in which Irwin fought to save endangered, and oftentimes dangerous, animals. Eventually evolving into a massive success, airing in more than 100 countries to more than 500 million people.

In 2002, he founded the “Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation,” which was later renamed the “Wildlife Warriors.” The foundation as formed as an effort to educate individuals on the importance of protecting injured, threatened and endangered wildlife.

Irwin’s consistent efforts into preserving wildlife species helped contribute to his “Centenary Medal” award, dedicated to his services to global conservation and tourism. This achievement was a direct reflection of his passion and fight for Australian wildlife, efforts that should continue to be reflected to this day.

It was an episode of “Ocean’s Deadliest” in 2006 where Irwin was stabbed by a stingray, ultimately leading to his passing. However, it is the involvement of his wife and children that continue to pass on Steve’s impact.

Bindi has also hosted the Discovery Kids series “Bindi, the Jungle Girl” and co-created a series of books titled “Bindi Wildlife Adventures.” While her brother Robert has hosted the wildlife series “Wild But True” on Discovery Kids, in addition to introducing exotic animals to Jimmy Fallon on his late night show.

“Dad was amazing because he left this legacy that people will never forget,” Bindi previously told PEOPLE.

“He didn’t just say to love the cute and cuddly animals, he tried to get people to understand and respect the animals like crocodiles and snakes and really break down those barriers,” she continued. “For us, we really want to carry on in Dad’s footsteps and make sure that everything he worked so hard for continues on in the future.”

Fans alongside Steve’s wife Terri, take to Twitter to share their respects and honor for the courageous

“Many thanks to @Google for commemorating Steve’s life so beautiful on this special day,” Terri Irwin tweeted.

“This morning we’re paying tribute to the one and only Steve Irwin on what would have been his 57th birthday. Steve, you’re loved and missed by all. #9Today,” @TheTodayShow wrote.

“Happy birthday to a legend, whose passion and love for nature and animals lives on in the hearts of many,” @iverisaur tweeted.

“Happy birthday Steve Irwin. Thank you for inspiring me in every way there is, most importantly to pursue that which excited me. Thank you for changing me, and thank you for changing the world,” @kali_christine_ tweeted.

People around the world take this day to commemorate Irwin as an advocate for not just wildlife but respecting all that we share the Earth with.

In the words of Steve, “We don’t own the planet Earth, we belong to it. And we must share it.”