Bindi Irwin is no longer that khaki-clad cutie who stole our hearts palling around with her famous father, Steve Irwin. The Aussie animal activist turns 16 tomorrow (July 24) and she’s celebrating by appearing on the cover of People magazine, like you do.
In the August 4 cover story, Bindi shares her thoughts on living without Dad nearly eight years after an run-in with a stingray at Batt Reef claimed Steve’s life.
“I remember after we lost Dad, so many adults came up to me and said, ‘Honey, time heals all wounds,’” the teen tells People. “That is the biggest lie you will ever hear. It doesn’t.”
The sadness “never goes away,” she adds. “It’s like losing a piece of your heart that you never get back.”
To do what she can to keep her dad’s memory alive, Bindi works closely with her mom, Terri, and 10-year-old brother, Robert, at the Australia Zoo.
“When you lose a loved one, you come to these crossroads,” she says. “You can take the path that leads you down the aisle of sadness, or you can say, ‘I’m never going to let this person’s memory die. I'm going to make sure everything they worked for continues.’”
She’s clearly chosen the latter option through her work at the family zoo and with SeaWorld as a youth ambassador (controversial as that last one might be).
Articulate, driven, beautiful, and smart — Bindi seems like a daughter to be proud of. Happiest of birthdays!