STEVE Irwin's life was tragically cut short in 2006 when a stingray barb pierced his heart while filming a documentary.

But while his sudden death at age 44 might have shocked Australia, Terri Irwin has revealed Steve predicted his early demise during the final weeks of his life.

"You know he never thought he would have a long life. He just always kind of had this sense that his life would be cut short," Terri told Anh Doh during the series premiere of Anh's Brush with Fame on Wednesday night.

Terri became emotional as she recalled Steve's death. Picture: ABC
Terri became emotional as she recalled Steve's death. Picture: ABC

"I remember him saying to me, 'I don't think I am going to film anymore, I think I am just going to spend time with my kids.'"

Recalling the moment she found out Steve had died, Terri said she was struck by an "incredible sense of responsibility" for his legacy alongside "overwhelming grief".

She was touched by the outpouring of kindness, with a private plane arranged for Terri and the couple's two children Bindi and Robert to fly back from Tasmania to Queensland.

Terri and Steve with their daughter Bindi in 2002
Terri and Steve with their daughter Bindi in 2002

Police would also stop paparazzi for "random breath tests" - allowing the family to get away from photographers, Terri revealed.

"The thing I didn't expect or understand was just how it affected everyone," Terri said of the mass of media at Australia Zoo after Steve's death.

"No one would have been more surprised than Steve at just the outpouring of grief and love."

Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin and his wife Terri
Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin and his wife Terri

Anh's Brush with Fame continues next Wednesday at 8pm on the ABC.


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