In 2006, wildlife expert and well-known television star Steve Irwin tragically passed away at just 44 years old. Thirteen years later, and the world continues to honor the late “Crocodile Hunter,” whose lasting legacy is explored in a touching new Google Doodle tribute.
Intended to commemorate what would have been his 57th birthday on February 22, 2019, this short but sweet animation traces his extraordinary life and work. It opens with a shot of a young Irwin in a boat as he and his beloved dog, Sui, encounter a crocodile. It then showcases Irwin's role at the Australia Zoo and rise to fame as the “Crocodile Hunter.”
The end of the animation focuses on family, Irwin's other outspoken passion. In the penultimate image, he is shown with his wife, Terri, and their young children, Bindi and Robert. Poignantly, this frame fades into a shot of his family members at the Australia Zoo, where they continue to keep his legacy alive—all under the watchful eye of Irwin on a billboard.
This Google Doodle was illustrated by Shanti Rittgers and created in collaboration with Bindi, Robert, and Terri, who shared her enthusiasm for the project in a blog post. “Today’s Google Doodle acknowledges the life and achievements of my husband Steve Irwin, whose efforts to protect wildlife and wild places have been recognised as the most extensive of any conservationist. We are so proud that his legacy lives on, as that was his greatest wish. He once said, ‘I don’t care if I’m remembered, as long as my message is remembered.'
“We do this work every day to honor Steve's memory, and now today's Doodle honors him, too.”
The adorable animation will be live on Google on February 22, 2019. (To view past Google Doodles at a later date, check the Doodles archive.)
A new Google Doodle pays touching tribute to Steve Irwin on what would have been his 57th birthday.
The adorable animation highlights Irwin's career as the “Crocodile Hunter.”
Poignantly, it also features his loving family…
…And how they keep his legacy alive.
The Google Doodle will be live on Google on February 22, 2019.
I’m honored to have gotten to make the art for the Steve Irwin doodle today. It was a labor of love for a man who taught the world (and little me) to get excited for animals! Please enjoy 😊 https://t.co/HCm148SbqB #illustration #art
— Shanti Rittgers (@ShantiRittgers) February 21, 2019