The reason why Steve Irwin’s wife has not dated anyone publicly since her late husband’s death has been revealed.

It has been 18 years since Terri Irwin became a widow after the beloved Crocodile Hunter tragically died while he was filming a documentary called Ocean’s Deadliest near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

The conservationist swam over a 220lb bull stingray that measured over 2.4 meters wide in shallow water, which inadvertently provoked the animal to attack Irwin.

He was pierced in the chest by the placid creature, sustaining heart injuries. He immediately went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at the age of 44 by medical staff less than an hour later.

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Steve went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at age 44. Credit: Jon Kopaloff / Getty

The mom-of-two met her late partner in Australia in 1991 while visiting wildlife rehabilitation facilities.

The couple got engaged four months later and on June 4, 1992, they tied the knot in Terri’s home state of Eugene, Oregon, before returning to live in Australia. The Irwins then welcomed two children – daughter Bindi on July 24, 1998, and son Robert on December 1, 2003.

During their marriage, the pair owned and operated Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland, as well as filming their TV wildlife documentary series, The Crocodile Hunter.

Following Steve’s death, Terri worked hard with the couple’s two children, Bindi, now 25, and Robert, now 20, to honor and cherish the Australian icon’s legacy by becoming the sole owner of the zoo.

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Steve and Terri shared two children, Bindi and Robert. Credit: Steve Granitz / Getty

Several years ago, it was rumored that the naturalist was in a relationship with Gladiator actor Russell Crowe. However, she denied it during an interview with Access Hollywood in 2017.

Joined by her daughter, Bindi, Terri said that the 59-year-old star has been a fierce ally in protecting the family’s wildlife preserve in Australia and that they are just friends.

“He’s a great guy but absolutely just a dear friend,” she told the outlet. “The saying goes, when it comes to friends I’d rather have four quarters than a hundred pennies… and he’s definitely a quarter.”

The mother also explained the devastating yet heartwarming reason why she hasn’t been romantically involved with anyone since Steve’s death, sharing: “I feel a connection still with Steve.

“You know when you take those vows, and say ‘we’ll be together as long as we both shall live,’ I really don’t think I would’ve married if I hadn’t met Steve. And he’s very special to me and continues to be,” she added.

The interviewers also asked Bindi if she wanted her mother to date other people, and the then-18-year-old responded that all she wants is for her mom to be happy.

“Honestly, all I want in life is Mom’s happiness,” she said. “What people sometimes forget is that when you find your soulmate, if you’ve found that soulmate you really don’t want to move on. So Mom had her soulmate and Mom and Dad will always be married and will always be together. I think that’s a beautiful thing.”

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