A Florida native, Powell, 22, was a professional wakeboarder when he first met Bindi in 2013 during a trip to the zoo. “It just so happened that Bindi was giving tours that day,” he recalls. “I’m like, ‘Wow she is amazing.’” The pair “hit it off right away,” he says, adding “We haven’t looked back since.”
Bindi, 20, couldn’t be happier to have found a partner who shares so many of her father Steve Irwin‘s qualities. “He loves wildlife and conservation and he has this strength,” Bindi says. “Which is necessary when you’re jumping on crocs.”
Powell recently relocated from Florida to live with the family, who made their long-awaited return to television in October. Their new Animal Planet series Crikey! It’s the Irwins (Sundays at 8 p.m.) follows their life at home at the zoo where they live and work.
Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: The Irwin Family streaming now on peopletv.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
Powell is thrilled to be a part of it all. “I’ve got my khaki on and I am loving it!” he says. And the whole family is happy he’s there.
For the full story on the Irwin family, pick up the latest issue of People on newsstands Dec. 26.
“One of the first times Chandler came to the zoo I wanted to kind of test him, says Bindi’s younger brother Robert, 15. “Just to see what would happen. So we had him feeding alligators and he did awesome. I’m very impressed. He’s great with wildlife so I approve.”
While the couple just celebrated five years together, they aren’t talking about marriage just yet. “We’re really happy at the moment,” he explains. “We just love traveling together and working in the zoo.”