03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Terri Irwin Defends Daughter's Precociousness, TV Show

When, soon after Steve's death, Bindi made presentations at an awards ceremony in place of her father, she seemed oddly glib about her loss, saying: "It's kind of sad that he couldn't be here, but it's nice that I can be here to do it." "She's obviously a very poised, mature eight-year-old," commented the child psychologist Alison Garton, "but some of these public statements are probably a bit extreme at this point in time."

It was not the first time that the family had been accused of putting its children in harm's way. In January 2004 Steve was castigated for holding Robert, then a baby, as he fed an enormous crocodile called Murray during one of his Crocoseum shows. "Bloody Idiot!", one Australian headline concluded. But Steve - who was given a python for his sixth birthday and started handling crocs when he was 9 - insisted that Robert had never been in danger: he had done the same thing with Bindi and was determined that his children, like him, would become "croc-savvy". He did apologise for frightening people, though.

Read more on The Times (UK)