Bindi Irwin has made an emotional post about her father, Steve Irwin, as wildfires ravage much of Australia. According to estimates by ecologist Chris Dickman from the University of Sydney, over 1 billion animals have been killed since fires began. That figure includes 800 million mammals, birds, and reptiles.
Earlier this week, Bindi revealed that the Irwin family's Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has been inundated with patients since the wildfires began. They've helped so many animals in recent months that the hospital has now treated 90,000 patients since the hospital opened 16 years ago.
The 21-year-old took to Instagram to make an emotional post about her father at this difficult time.
Bindi wrote: "Dad spent his life working so hard to protect wildlife and wild places, especially in Australia. I wish he was here right now to give advice and strength during this time of devastation with the bushfires. I know that his spirit lives on through our conservation work and I hope together we can make him proud."
Unsurprisingly, Instagram commenters were overwhelmingly supportive of the young conservationist. One user wrote: "I don’t think I’ve ever seen a family carry out their father’s legacy he way you all have. That man was a hero of mine, and it brings me to tears to see you all reflect him so much. Your father is SO proud of you and lives on through you, your brother, and everyone else in the world that he was able to touch and inspire. Y’all are doing AMAZING things."
While another added: "I'm beyond sure he is still working through you and your family."
And one user concluded: "You are making him proud. More than you know. Your whole family!"
In another Instagram post earlier this week, Bindi revealed how the family has been helping to care for animals as bushfires ravage Australia.
At the time, she wrote: "With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much. I wanted to let you know that we are SAFE. There are no fires near us @AustraliaZoo or our conservation properties."
"Our Wildlife Hospital is busier than ever though, having officially treated over 90,000 patients. My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother. We will continue to honour her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can."
In a separate Instagram post, Bindi explained that the hospital has been in overdrive since drought conditions began in September. Among their patients are hundreds of grey-headed flying foxes, a species listed as vulnerable, who were sent to the hospital after rescue centers they were recovering in were evacuated.
"Some of the orphans are now being cared for by the team at the hospital until they’re big enough to go home, and there’s no threat of fire," Bindi explained. "In September, flying fox admissions to the hospital skyrocketed by over 750% due to drought conditions and lack of food. Flying foxes are now being drastically affected by wildfires and we’re again seeing an influx of these beautiful animals from across the country."
In 2019, the hospital also opened "a sea turtle rehabilitation center, sea snake ward and are about to complete a new bird recovery area."
Bindi went on to implore her followers to donate to Australia Zoo's Wildlife Warriors charity to help their efforts.