PARENTS

Bindi Irwin Birthday: Steve Irwin's Daughter Pays Tribute

07/27/2015 01:40 EDT | Updated 07/27/2015 01:59 EDT

Bindi Irwin, the daughter of late Steve Irwin, turned 17 on Friday. While her birthday was no doubt filled with celebration, the teen took time to pay tribute to her late father, “The Crocodile Hunter.”

In a new Instagram snap, Bindi is seen embracing a tortoise. In her caption, she then thanks her friends and family who have helped her follow her dreams: "To my family, friends, and the people who will forever have a place in my heart, thank you for everything. For changing my life and making me the person I am today. You mean so much to me."

It’s clear her father has shaped who she is today, as she inherited his love of animals and his desire to fight for wildlife conservation.

So here we are. My 17th year in this life. I have to tell you that over the past year I've learned so much. So many people have touched my heart and made an impact on my world. I'm thankful for every lesson and learning experience. This next year will be filled with so much adventure, I'm excited for the journey to come. I am so happy with where I am and where I'm headed. I have the most beautiful souls in my life supporting me and helping me to follow my dreams. I love them more than I can ever express in words. To my family, friends, and the people who will forever have a place in my heart, thank you for everything. For changing my life and making me the person I am today. You mean so much to me❤️ I will continue to do my best to make a difference in this world and create positive change for the next generations. So let's take on this next year together! I'm excited to see what is to come xx

A photo posted by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on


“I will continue to do my best to make a difference in this world and create positive change for the next generations,” she writes. “So let's take on this next year together! I'm excited to see what is to come.”

On Friday, Bindi’s mother, Terri Irwin, also shared an adorable photo of her daughter and late husband to mark the teen’s birthday.

Just last week, Bindi spoke to Entertainment Tonight to talk about her father’s legacy. “He always used to say that he didn't mind if people remembered him or not,” the teen said. “He just cared if they remembered his message, and that's what we're trying to do. To make sure that his message lives on in all of us.”

The late wildlife expert tragically passed away in 2006 after he was stung by a stingray. Bindi was just eight years old at the time, and her brother Robert was three. Based on her social media posts, it’s clear the teen plans to carry on her father’s work no matter what.

“Dad is and always will be my living, breathing superhero,” she said.

Also on HuffPost

Kids Of Celebrities All Grown Up!