By Mia Blake
With 4,000 people in attendance, and over 300 million people watching around the world, fans and admirers of Steve Irwin say goodbye
A public memorial service is now underway at Australia Zoo for Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.
Two weeks ago, Irwin was killed by a stingray bard while shooting a documentary for the BBC.
The ABC reports Irwin’s public memorial is taking place at Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast from 9:00am AEST, Wednesday. It is being telecast throughout Australia and to over 300 million people around the world including fans from Canada
Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard and Queensland premier Peter Beattie are attending the service along with Irwin’s friends, staff and family.
More than 1,000 guests were invited and free tickets issued to anther 3,000 people.
Terri Irwin and her eight-year-old daughter Bindi will make their first public apprearace at the memorial.
Steve Irwin’s daughter Bindi has told of her love for “the best daddy in the world” at a memorial service for the Crocodile Hunter.
“My daddy was my hero“
“My daddy was my hero - he was always there for me when I needed him,'’ Bindi said, remaining upbeat and composed.
“He listened to me and taught me so many things but most of all he was fun.”
“I know that Daddy had an important job. He was working to change the world so everyone would love wildlife like he did.'’
“I don’t want Daddy’s passion to ever end,'’ she said.
‘Best Daddy in the world’
“I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did.'’
“I have the best Daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day,'’ she said.
Mr Irwin’s father Bob choked back tears as he briefly thanked well-wishers for their letters and gifts on behalf of the family.
“Please don’t grieve for Steve - he’s at peace now,'’ he said.
“But I would like you to grieve for the animals - the animals have lost the best friend they ever had, and so have I.
“I was fortunate to just recently spend three or four weeks with Steve on crocodile research and he was the best he’d been for many years and I’ll certainly treasure that.’‘
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