Croc Hunter's Daughter Films Her Own Show

Bindi Irwin, left, and her mother Terri Irwin at the arrive on the orange carpet for the fourth annual Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards 2006 (NSW) at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on October 11, 2006 in Sydney, Australia. They are honouring a promise to present an award at the event made by Bindi's father Steve Irwin, who was killed last month by a sting ray barb. Getty Images/Patrick Riviere

Six weeks after the death of her father, Steve Irwin, Bindi is back at work on her own TV program, "Bindi the Jungle Girl," according the Web site of Australian TV's "Australian Story."

The AP reports that she is midway thorough production for the wildlife show.

The 8-year-old was interviewed by "Australian Story," her first interview since her father's death. The pigtailed little girl sat in her mother's lap and talked about her new TV show, which will air on the Discovery network in the U.S.

"I am trying to get across the message that, don't be afraid of animals, they're just put on this earth to help the environment and everything like that," she told "Australian Story."

"We do have lots of fun doing it. It's all about just getting up and just moving around and dancing, just get enthusiastic with the animals," she said in the interview.

In a scene from the show, Bindi is shown leading a bison named Humphrey by a leash while talking about his physical characteristics and his extinction. Her mom, Terri, was present while shooting for the show was taking place and can be heard coaching her daughter on what to say for the camera.

"I thought that Humphrey was an amazing Bison. He was pretty big because you are looking up and you are going, 'Wow, that is pretty big for a Bison.' But he is just so cute and he is such a friendly Bison," Bindi told AP television about filming the show.

She says she learned things from her dad that she is incorporating into the show.

"The big things that I have learned from my dad is that you can just say what you want to say, even though I give you the piece, you can add things in with it," she said.

John Stainton, Steve Irwin's friend who was with him when he was stabbed in the heart by a stingray's barb in September, was also interviewed by the program and addressed criticism that too much focus has been put on the 8-year-old.

"I think that they (the critics) don't understand that this little girl is very much enjoying what she's doing. She is in control," Stainton told the program.

And, as CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported on The Early Show, critics say it's much too soon for Bindi to take center stage, right after her father's death.

But, Bindi has spent her life in front of the cameras and, like Irwin, appears to know her own mind.

"The big things that I've learned from my dad," she said, "is that you can just say what you want to say."

It seems a safe bet, Palmer asserts, that Daddy, the ultimate showman, would be proud.

Meanwhile, Bindi's grandfather, Bob Irwin, told the Australian Associated Press that his grandaughter enjoys the spotlight and is a "real professional."

"And I think she's going to have a really, really big career," Bob Irwin said. "John will work closely with Terri and I think with the two of them, it will be a perfect match."
  • Amy Bonawitz

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