Bindi Irwin Says Late Father Steve Would Have Approved of Boyfriend Chandler Powell (Exclusive)

Zach Seemayer‍
The young nature conservationist and her family spoke with ET at this year's Steve Irwin Gala and they opened up about what the late Crocodile Hunter would have thought of Bindi's longtime love.

Bindi Irwin's heart belongs to boyfriend Chandler Powell, and the young nature conservationist says she feels her later father, Steve Irwin, would have totally approved.

And Bindi and her family have been enjoying some really rewarding moments in the spotlight recently, the Dancing With the Stars champ's beau has been by their side the whole way, and she feels he's definitely earned his place in their tight-knit group.

"I hope he’d like Chandler. I think he would. I mean, Chandler’s wonderful," Bindi, 19, told ET's Lauren Zima at the Steve Irwin Gala at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on Saturday. 

"He’s always up for a challenge," she added. "From jumping on crocodiles to getting his little cocky bow tie on, you know he’s doing good. So, I hope dad would love Chandler. We all love him."

Bindi was joined by her mom, Terri Irwin, and brother Robert Irwin, at the event, and her mother concurred that the famed Crocodile Hunter would have definitely approved -- after she put him through his paces.

"I think your dad would have tested him morning, noon and night, and then approve because your dad was kind of like that," Terri said, laughing.

"Dad always used to say, ‘If you’re gonna date a guy, he has to cross the croc pond first,'" Bindi recalled. "And thankfully, Chandler's a wakeboarder. So you know what? Wakeboarding across the pond, I’m sure he would have passed the test."

"He would have [passed it] well," Robert chimed in.

With Robert appearing on The Tonight Show last week to introduce host Jimmy Fallon to some wild and wonderful creatures, to Steve being honored with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame late last month, the family has been working as diligently as ever to keep the memory and legacy of their beloved patriarch burning bright.

The Steve Irwin Gala dinner over the weekend was the culmination of those recent efforts and Terri explained that it's all been "more emotional than we expected."

"It’s been so special. I mean, it’s kind of been this wonderful moment after another," Bindi added. "It’s all coming together beautifully and I feel like this is just a gorgeous new chapter of our lives."

"It feels like the right time for everything," she continued. "So, tonight’s going to be a wonderful celebration of everything dad achieved together with people who are really like-minded, and just genuinely passionate about wildlife."

As the family plans their return to Australia to film a new series for Animal Planet, which will focus on their work at the Australia Zoo -- where they live -- and their efforts to protect wildlife and promote conservation education across the globe.

According to Terri, the new show will also be an avenue for them to pay tribute to her late husband's memory.

"Everything we do is to honor what Steve started, so I can’t imagine in some way he wouldn’t be part of this [show]," she said. "I mean, already we’ve been promoting this upcoming show with little grabs of things Steve had said in the past, because he’s definitely on our minds every single day, and I think that’s wonderful. I think it’s great to celebrate people that you loved and keep the beat going on."

Animal Planet's new series, The Irwin Family, premieres this fall.

For more on Bindi's relationship with her long-time boyfriend, check out the video below.

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