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Bindi Irwin

The Jungle Girl

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Bindi Irwin at the launch of Bindi: The Jungle Girl at Australia Zoo

Bindi Irwin at the launch of Bindi: The Jungle Girl at Australia Zoo

Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

The launch of the television wildlife series Bindi: The Jungle Girl at Australia Zoo on Australia's Sunshine Coast in June 2007 has propelled Bindi Irwin into instant child stardom — not that she hadn't shone before with father Steve Irwin in episodes of The Crocodile Hunter and in a film with The Wiggles.

Bindi Irwin had also appeared as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Larry King Live.

In her father's footsteps

Now she is in her own show and the young Irwin seems intent on continuing her father's involvement with television and with the conservation of wildlife.

The first series of Bindi: The Jungle Girl is in 26 parts and started screening in the United States in June 2007 on the Discovery Kids Channel. It started screening on Australia's ABC network from July 18, a week before Bindi Irwin's ninth birthday on July 24.

View from the tree-house

Bindi: The Jungle Girl shows the young Irwin in her tree-house introducing young viewers to wildlife from across the world.

Her mother Terri and father Steve — filming of the series began months before the Crocodile Hunter's death — occasionally drop in to share stories of animal adventures.

Some concerns

Since Steve Irwin's death, and the propelling of Bindi into the limelight, concern had been voiced that Bindi was being deprived of a normal childhood.

Producer John Stainton was quoted in Sydney's Daily Telegraph in July as saying: "There have been a lot of kids doing TV shows who have been younger than Bindi. How old were the Olsen twins when they started?"

Bindi Irwin herself says, "I've been filmed from the day I was born with animals. I love them. The majority of my day when I'm at the zoo I spend with animal friends," the Daily Telegraph reported.

The Irwins

Bindi Irwin (full name Bindi Sue Irwin) was born in Nambour, Queensland, on July 24, 1998, and is older sister to Bob (Robert Clarence Irwin), born on December 1, 2003 in Buderim, Queensland.

Her mother Terri Irwin (nee Terri Raines) hails from Oregon in the United States. She married Steve Irwin in 1992.

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