Croc Hunter's Daughter Makes TV Debut

Bindi Irwin, left, and her mom Terri Irwin 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 this evening's event made by Bindi's father Steve Irwin, who was killed last month by a sting ray barb. Getty Images/Patrick Riviere

Bindi Irwin, the 8-year-old daughter of the late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, followed in her dad's footsteps Thursday, using her American television debut to talk about animals.

The khaki-clad girl skipped across the stage holding a blue-tongued lizard as she greeted audiences of the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

"This is Spanky. He's 10 years old," Bindi told DeGeneres as she prodded the lizard to lick her face in an attempt to show its tongue.

Photos: Bindi's Night Out

Photos: Bindi's Goodbye
"I just love animals. My dad really brought it out in me," Bindi said. "He's the one that made me."

Steve Irwin died Sept. 4 from the poisonous jab of a stingray. He left behind Bindi, his wife, Terri, and 2-year-old son, Bob.

Like her father, Bindi said she loves "all animals, great or small."

She will star in a wildlife series to air on the Discovery Kids network early next year.

"I want to be like my dad," she said. "I want him to be proud of me."
  • Amy Bonawitz

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