The 16-year-old conservationist talks to PEOPLE about carrying on her late father's legacy

By People Staff
Updated July 26, 2014 06:00 PM

Bindi Irwin has many ways of remembering the dad she adored, late Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin, who died in 2006 when she was 8.

There are the “Daddy DVDs” of his adventures as the host of the popular Animal Planet series The Crocodile Hunter, which her brother Robert, 10, “studies with such intensity,” she says.

There are the handprints Steve left in concrete outside the family’s home within the gates of Australia Zoo, the Queensland wildlife center that he and wife Terri transformed into a major tourist destination.

“We’ll put our hands in them, just to see how they’ve grown and how they match up to Dad’s,” says Bindi.

And then there are the dozens of letters he sent from his travels around the world.

“Reading those letters back is special,” she says. “I’m grateful he wrote them. Those little things remind you of him and give you strength to keep going.”

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