DWTS Champ Mourns the Loss of Lifelong Companion: ‘Rest in Peace, Angel’

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A “Dancing With the Stars” champion is mourning the loss of one of her lifelong companions.

On August 3, 2022, Bindi Irwin shared a touching tribute to one of the animals that she has grown close to over the years.

“Saying goodbye to our beautiful family member of 38 years. The sweetest, kindest, most wonderful echidna you ever did meet. Rest In Peace, angel,” Irwin captioned her post, sharing several photos of the echidna — perhaps more commonly known as a spiny anteater.

Irwin, 24, shared her love of the echidna with her family, including her brother, Robert, their mom, Terri, Irwin’s husband, Chandler Powell, and the couple’s daughter, Grace, who also got up close and personal with the mammal over the past year.

Here’s what you need to know:

Irwin’s Relationship With Echidnas Has Been Well Documented on Social Media

Over the years, Irwin has shared several photos and special moments with the echidnas at the Australia Zoo — founded by her late father Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter.”

“The cuteness @AustraliaZoo is out of this world. Just in case you needed an echidna smile to make your day remarkably brighter,” Irwin captioned a photo on May 21, 2022.

“Look out bunny, here @AustraliaZoo we have the Easter echidna. Echidnas and platypus are the only egg laying mammals in the world (monotremes). I love these sweethearts with all my heart,” read the caption of a post that Irwin shared on April 21, 2022.

The echidna made another appearance on Irwin’s Instagram account on March 29, 2022.

“Love this moment captured from Grace’s birthday. My two favourite animals in the world. Tortoise follows echidna,” Irwin wrote.

On February 6, 2022, Irwin introduced her daughter to the echidna for the first time — and she shared that memory on social media as well.

“Happiness is meeting an echidna for the very first time. Sweet Grace Warrior loved watching all the digging for ants. Monotremes (egg laying mammals) are the coolest,” she captioned the sweet snap.

In 2013, Irwin shared a photo of an echidna on Twitter. At the time, Irwin was just 15 years old and called the echidna “my favourite animal.”

An Echidna Encounter Is Available at the Australia Zoo

The echidna is fairly friendly and isn’t considered dangerous to humans. This is one of the reasons that they are a great animal to feature in an interactive exhibit.

Visitors to the Australia Zoo can participate in an echidna encounter for $39.00 per person.

“Take part in an interactive, educational experience with one of Australia’s native icons! This sticky-beaked creature is one of the most interesting animals around, and you’ll never forget this up close encounter. These gorgeous, spiky, little echidnas may even sit on your lap so you can hand feed them. Crikey!” reads the description of the experience.

Although Irwin didn’t share many details about the echidna’s death, Australia’s Department of Planning and Environment says that these mammals can live as long as 16 years in the wild. With proper care and habitat, echidnas that are part of conservation efforts can live much longer.

READ NEXT: Bindi Irwin Lands Gig as a Guest Judge on Popular Show

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