Read Steve Irwin’s touching letter to his parents, found 10 years after his death
In 2006, the world was stunned by the sudden passing of wildlife expert Steve Irwin.
The self-styled "Crocodile Hunter" was a larger than life nature conservationist, who entertained and informed a generation on the wonders of the great outdoors.
Ten years after passing away while filming an ocean documentary, a letter penned by Steve has been found by his parents Bob and Lyn Irwin.
In a letter to his parents, Steve writes "Please be happy to know that your strength and wisdom have been passed on."
"Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a 'Bloke’s Life' is that it takes over 30 years to realize how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS," wrote Irwin, 12 years before his death.
"At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength! For the rest of my life, I will reflect on the unbelievably GREAT times we’ve shared and will continue to share. You’re my best friends!"
The letter, found by Steve's father Bob when it fell out of a book he was reading, will feature in a new memoir, The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father and Son Legacy.
Bob Irwin described the note as a reminder of "Steve's boundless energy, infectious humour and unrestrained passion for wildlife.
"What he stood for and what he was able to achieve means just as much now as when he was here in the physical world," Mr. Irwin said.
Bob and Lyn are both naturalists, as Steve was, and they instilled that same passion for wildlife and the outdoors in their son.
Steve left behind his wife Terri and his kids, daughter Bindi and son Robert.
On Bindi’s 18th birthday last month, she posted a tribute photo of herself with Steve.
View this post on Instagram
Hello lovelies. Well today marks 18 years of life for me, here in Australia and I really don't know where to begin in thanking so many people for an unforgettable journey so far. So I think that I'll start here, with this photograph. This photo was taken within the first year of my life. To be perfectly honest life has changed in a million ways since this photograph was taken. Along the way we gained another incredible part of our family, my brother Robert. Our conservation work with Wildlife Warriors took off around the world. Our home, Australia Zoo continued to expand and has become the greatest zoological facility on planet earth. Our Dad, Mum's soulmate and a superhero for us all, passed away. However, since this photo was taken, 18 years ago, one life ingredient has remained, unchanged, unbreakable. That is the unconditional love that is shared between my beautiful little family and the loyalty we have to eachother and everyone else who has taken this journey with us. I don't think that when this photo was taken even my beautiful parents could have known what life would evolve. I know that I am endlessly grateful for the love and light I have been given since Day 1 of my life.
This article originally appeared on JOE.co.uk