Google Doodle celebrates "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin on his 57th birthday

By Caitlin O'Kane

/ CBS News

Crikey! The February 22 Google Doodle is dedicated to the original crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin. Irwin, who died in 2006, would've turned 57 years old on Friday. February 22 is also National Wildlife Day this year, coincidentally.

Google's interactive doodle shows several drawings of Irwin in his element – with crocodiles, on a boat with his dog, preforming a wildlife show, and with his children and wife.

Irwin died at age 44 in September 2006, while filming an underwater scene for a television series. A stingray's stinging barbs pierced his heart. His daughter, Bindi, was just 8 years old at the time, and his son, Robert, was 3. In 2017, over a decade after his death, Irwin's widow, Terri, and their children announced they were returning to Animal Planet, with a new show premiering in 2018.

Google's new doodle honors Steve Irwin on what would've been his 57th birthday. Google

The family has carried on Irwin's conservation work in Australia, running a zoo, a wildlife preserve and supporting projects that try to save endangered animals worldwide.

On Friday, Terri Irwin commented on the Google Doodle, tweeting: "Many thanks to @Google for commemorating Steve's life so beautifully on this special day." Son Robert said it was the "perfect way to celebrate his birthday, sharing everything he did to make the world a better place."

Thank you for always being my guiding light. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/4mFgmDGTxA

— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) February 21, 2019

Daughter Bindi, now 20 years old, shared her own tribute to her father on his birthday. "Thank you for always being my guiding light," she tweeted, sharing a photo of herself as a baby with her dad and a koala.

Google has also released a trends page, showing the global interest and search terms people use around wildlife, CNET reports. A special feature was also added to Google Assistant. Just say "Hey Google, crikey" and the assistant will give you facts about Irwin and his work.

Steve Irwin: 1962-2006
Steve Irwin: 1962-2006 20 photos

First published on February 22, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

screen-shot-2019-02-22-at-9-48-02-am.png Steve Irwin: 1962-2006

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