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Bindi Irwin

Daniel Robertson/startraksphoto.com

Bindi Irwin, daughter of late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, recently opened up about another sad issue affecting her family.

The 17-year-old Australian, who captured the hearts of U.S. viewers when she competed on and won the recent season of Dancing With the Stars, talked to The Daily Mail Australia about her estrangement from her grandfather, Steve's dad, Bob Irwin. He has spoken about the issue over the years and had recently told The Herald Sun he was "enormously proud" of his granddaughter's Dancing with the Stars victory but added they were still not in touch.

"Everyone deals with grief differently," Bindi told The Daily Mail Australia at the 5th annual AACTA Awards on Wednesday. "When my dad passed away, he chose to distance himself from everything that dad loved the most."

"At the moment we're really just respecting his wishes because he hasn't had anything to do with us for a long time and he decided his own path," she added. "That's important, so good for him."

Bob has not responded to her comments.

Steve died in at age 44 on Sept. 4, 2006 after being stabbed in the chest by a stingray barb while shooting a wildlife documentary. Bindi was 8 years old at the time. She had paid tribute to her father on Dancing With the Stars

Her grandfather told The Sunday Mail in their native Australia in 2010 that there was a rift between him and Steve's widow and Bindi's mother, Terri Irwin, and he was prevented from seeing the teen or her brother Robert. Terri has not commented.

The Sunday Mail had reported that last time Bob saw her and Steve's kids was in 2008, when a $5 million animal hospital dedicated to his late wife Lyn was unveiled at the family's wildlife park and home, the Australia Zoo, to help mark Steve Irwin Day. Bob parted ways with the zoo that year. He now operates his own initiative, the Bob Irwin Wildlife & Conservation Foundation.

Dancing With the Stars, Bindi Irwin

ABC/Adam Taylor

Bindi's Dancing With the Stars partner Derek Hough recently visited the Australia Zoo, which had named a koala bear after him.

Reunited with my little @bindisueirwin. A.K.A The Champ!!! #AustraliaZoo

A photo posted by Derek Hough (@derekhough) on