Steve Irwin's son is now a nature photographer and just won an award for his terrifying photo of a raging bushfire

·3 min read
Robert Irwin
Robert Irwin won a wildlife photography award. MeganSlade/Newspix/Getty Images; Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
  • Steve Irwin's son won a Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for a photo of Australian wildfire.

  • Robert, 17, photographed the blaze near a reserve named after his father.

  • He used a drone that "only had a few minutes of battery left to spare" to capture the image.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Environmentalism runs in the Irwin family.

On Wednesday, Robert Irwin, the son of late wildlife expert, zookeeper, and conservationist Steve Irwin, was awarded the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award for his striking photo of Australian wildfire.

Robert is a TV personality, along with his older sister Bindi and their mom Terri, and in recent years, he's also made a name for himself as a nature and wildlife photographer.

According to the announcement, Robert's photo, called "Bushfire," was taken via drone in early 2020, when a blaze broke out near the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Queensland, Australia.

A bright orange line of flames, centered in the photo, separates the relatively unaffected green trees on the left from the charred ones on the right.

Robert Irwin, Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Robert Irwin took a striking photo of an Australian wildfire that broke out at a reserve named after his late famous father. Robert Irwin/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Robert, 17, told Natural History Museum's Alison Groom that he was camping in the area when he noticed smoke.

"I only had a few minutes of battery left to spare when I finally got over there, so I took the drone right in the middle of it, right in the thick of the smoke to capture this shot," he said.

According to a press release on the Wildlife Photographer of the Year website, the area where the photograph was taken "is of high conservation value and is home to over 30 different ecosystems with many endangered species."

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.

Devastating wildfires broke out across Australia in September 2019 and continued into 2020

In early January 2020, Insider reporter Aylin Woodward wrote that since the beginning of the bushfire season in September 2019, more than 25.5 million acres of land had burned down, at least 25 people had died, and more than a billion animals were feared dead.

Animals like koalas and kangaroos were photographed recuperating in rehabilitation centers after losing their homes to the fires.

The younger Irwin took the opportunity of his award win to call attention to the environmentalism that's long been important to his family.

"I think we've seen with the fires, not only here in Australia but also in the Amazon, in the United States, all over the world, we're really starting to see that we're reaching a tipping point," Robert said in a video filmed by the Natural History Museum. "It is up to us humans to make a difference and make a change for our environments."

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