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Bindi Irwin pays tribute to family on 18th birthday

"I am endlessly grateful," the teenage conservationist said.

By Annie Martin
Bindi Irwin pays tribute to family on 18th birthday
Bindi Irwin (R) and mom Terri Irwin at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Nice Guys" on May 10. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

BEERWAH, Australia, July 25 (UPI) -- Bindi Irwin was feeling grateful as she celebrated her 18th birthday.

The conservationist and Dancing with the Stars Season 21 winner paid tribute Sunday to her family -- late dad Steve Irwin, mom Terri Irwin and brother Robert Irwin -- while reflecting on their "unconditional love" in an Instagram post.

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"This photo was taken within the first year of my life," she captioned a picture of herself with her parents. "To be perfectly honest life has changed in a million ways since this photograph was taken."

Steve and Terri married in 1992 and welcomed Bindi and Robert in 1998 and 2003, respectively. The couple gained widespread fame on the TV series The Crocodile Hunter before Steve's death at age 44 in 2006.

"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 each other and everyone else who has taken this journey with us," Bindi Irwin said.

"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," the star concluded.

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She celebrated her birthday with her mom, brother, boyfriend Chandler Powell and thousands of fans at the Australia Zoo the same day. The zoo was founded by Steve's parents, Bob and Lyn Irwin, and is under Terri's ownership.

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.

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A photo posted by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

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