Jill Layton
Updated Jul 25, 2016 @ 10:17 am
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Credit: Instagram

Bindi Irwin turned 18 yesterday, and in celebration of her birthday, she posted a really sweet and emotional tribute to her late father, Steve Irwin, who tragically died while shooting a wildlife documentary when Bindi was jus eight years old.

Despite losing her dad, Bindi has always been an incredibly positive kid who cares about animals and their well-being just as much as her dad did. And she attributes that to being given so much love and light since day one — by her dad, mom, brother and her chosen family.

It’s been an absolute joy watching her grow and continuously impress the world with her passion for animals, for her family and for all things good. She has always been an incredibly well-spoken kid, teenager, and now she’s officially a well-spoken adult!

She wrote:

“Hello lovelies. Well today marks 18 years of life for me, here in Australia and I really don’t know where to begin in thanking so many people for an unforgettable journey so far. So I think that I’ll start here, with this photograph. This photo was taken within the first year of my life. To be perfectly honest life has changed in a million ways since this photograph was taken. Along the way we gained another incredible part of our family, my brother Robert.

Our conservation work with Wildlife Warriors took off around the world. Our home, Australia Zoo continued to expand and has become the greatest zoological facility on planet earth. Our Dad, Mum’s soulmate and a superhero for us all, passed away. However, since this photo was taken, 18 years ago, one life ingredient has remained, unchanged, unbreakable. That is the unconditional love that is shared between my beautiful little family and the loyalty we have to eachother and everyone else who has taken this journey with us.

I don’t think that when this photo was taken even my beautiful parents could have known what life would evolve. I know that I am endlessly grateful for the love and light I have been given since Day 1 of my life.”

She followed up her birthday post with more beautiful words and a stunning photo (accompanied by a baby tiger, of course):

“….leading on from my last post, I have so much happiness in my heart for the journey to come. Being 18 and embarking upon my adult years, I can’t predict what life will have in store for me. All I know is that I will try my very best to make a difference in this world with each moment that I’m given. Life is constantly evolving and I’m determined to find the light and love around every corner and share this with everyone who is a part of my story. Thank you so much to every single soul who took the time to read these last two posts, it means so much. I can’t wait to see what is yet to come.”

Happy birthday, Bindi! Your light continues to shine.