January 12, 2007 08:00 AM

Bindi Irwin made her TV debut on Thursday and said she wants to make her dad proud.

The daughter of “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show – along with her blue tongue lizard named Spanky – telling DeGeneres: “I just love animals. My dad really brought it out in me.”

Wearing her dad’s trademark khaki clothes, Bindi insisted she will continue the family’s animal-kingdom tradition. The 8-year-old also will star in a Discovery Kids network series in early 2008. “I want to be like my dad,” she said. “I want him to be proud of me.”

Steve Irwin, 44, died Sept. 4 after his heart was punctured by the poisonous tail barb of a stingray while filming in northern Australia. The shocking death caused an outpouring of grief in his homeland and left Bindi and brother Bob, 2, fatherless.

Mom Terri, 42, tells Access Hollywood that all the video footage from Irwin’s death has been destroyed.

“There’s standard protocols for examining certain evidence and that’s no longer necessary,” she said, “so we’re very proud that Steve’s last documentary is going to air and that’s his last footage with wildlife.”

The documentary, called Ocean’s Deadliest, will air Jan. 21 on the Discovery Channel, Irwin’s manager said.

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