Bindi Irwin still has a few more weeks to go before she welcomes her bundle of joy to the world, but the soon-to-be mom has already given her girl a nickname — "Baby Wildlife Warrior."
Now, as she and her husband, Chandler Powell, eagerly await the little one's arrival, the conservationist, zookeeper and daughter of late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin has opened up about where that impressive moniker came from.
Given Bindi Irwin’s continued devotion to her father and the causes closest to his heart, it should come as no surprise to learn he inspired the nickname.
“My dad was the first person to create the term ‘Wildlife Warrior,’” the 22-year-old explained in an interview with The Bump. “Being a ‘Wildlife Warrior’ means to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We’ve been referring to our daughter as our ‘Baby Wildlife Warrior.’”
And she feels certain that it’s a name her baby will live up to.
“I know in my heart that she will forge her own path to make our planet a better place through her connections with the gorgeous animals that we protect here at Australia Zoo and the conservation work we do with animal species around the globe,” Irwin continued.
She has a good reason to be confident of that prediction. Australia Zoo serves as both home and workplace to Irwin, just as it once did for her famous father (and his parents before him).
And although her father, who died over 14 years ago, won’t get the chance to know his first grandchild, she plans to make sure her "Baby Wildlife Warrior" will know him.
“My dad would have been the best grandfather,” she said. “I always joke that if he was still here we’d never see our baby because he’d take her on all kinds of adventures! I want to make sure our baby girl gets to know my dad and thankfully we have many documentaries and photos we can share with her. I think she’ll love getting to watch footage of Dad working with all kinds of animals and learning about his legacy.”
It’s a legacy that lives on in Irwin and in her whole family — including her mother, Terri Irwin, who now owns Australia Zoo.
“My extraordinary mama is my best friend and I know that she is going to be such an amazing grandmother,” Irwin said, noting that Terri Irwin wouldn’t be called “grandmother” though. “We spent a long time searching for grandma names that also had an animal link. We decided that she’s going to be called ‘Bunny.’ When she was growing up in Oregon her neighbor down the street was always called ‘Bunny.’ It only just dawned on us that it wasn’t her name but rather what everyone called her since she was a grandmother figure to the entire neighborhood.”
And even Irwin’s brother, Robert Irwin, is getting in on the custom-name game.
“Oh, yes, Robert has decided that ‘uncle’ needed an upgrade and he’s now calling himself the ‘funcle,’ which means fun uncle,” she shared. “I love it!”
The only name that remains up in the air is the official one for "Baby Wildlife Warrior," and that’s because Irwin and her husband want to meet her before deciding.
“We want to hold her and make sure the name that we choose fits her perfectly,” she said. “We have been looking through family history on both my side and Chandler’s side for family name inspiration. Once she arrives I think we’ll know exactly what to name her.”
That will no doubt be the most exciting moment for the couple, who said their “I dos” at the zoo nearly one year ago, since the moment they found out they were expecting.
“It was one of the most joyful experiences I’ve ever had,” Irwin recalled. “I had taken a pregnancy test, and upon discovering the positive result I ran into our kitchen where Chandler was making us our morning cup of tea. He didn’t hear me come in so I just stood there for a while watching him pouring the hot water and thinking about how this news would change the course of our future in the best way. Once I told him we were both completely speechless and crying tears of happiness.”