BURBANK, Calif. - 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.
"I just love animals. My dad really brought it out in me," Bindi said. "He's the one that made me."
Her father, animal lover and conservationist Steve Irwin, died Sept. 4 from the poisonous jab of a stingray. Along with Bindi, he left behind 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."