Steve Irwin tragically died in September 2006 when a stingray pierced his heart with its barb

By Jodi Guglielmi
February 22, 2019 10:32 AM
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It’s been nearly 13 years since Steve Irwin tragically died, but not a day goes by that his family doesn’t think about him.

Steve’s loved ones paid tribute to the late Crocodile Hunter host on Friday, what would have been the star’s 57th birthday. His daughter Bindi was among the first to pay tribute on social media, sharing a throwback photo of herself with her father.

“Thank you for always being my guiding light,” she wrote.

In the shot, Steve smiles at the camera as he holds Bindi, now 20, in one arm, and a koala bear in the other.

Bindi is following in her father’s footsteps in the Irwin family’s Animal Planet series, which follows her, her brother Robert Irwin, 15, and mom Terri Irwin, 54, as they run the Australia Zoo and travel the world protecting and celebrating animals.

Bindi has also hosted the Discovery Kids series Bindi, the Jungle Girl and co-created a series of books called Bindi Wildlife Adventures, while Robert has hosted the wildlife series Wild But True on Discovery Kids and has introduced exotic animals to Jimmy Fallon on the comedian’s late night show.

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Credit: Jason Ierace

Robert also shared a tribute to his dad Friday, showing off the special Google Doodle that was created to honor Steve.

The animated Doodle tells the story of his life and legacy, from studying and feeding crocodiles to starting his family with his wife and opening the Australia Zoo.

Robert said the Doodle was the “perfect way to celebrate his birthday, sharing everything he did to make the world a better place.”

Terri also thanked Googled for “commemorating Steve’s life so beautifully on this special day.”

Steve died in September 2006 when a stingray pierced his heart with its barb.

“Dad was amazing because he left this legacy that people will never forget,” Bindi previously told PEOPLE.

“He didn’t just say to love the cute and cuddly animals — he tried to get people to understand and respect the animals like crocodiles and snakes and really break down those barriers,” she added. “For us, we really want to carry on in Dad’s footsteps and make sure that everything he worked so hard for continues on in the future.”