"He picked one of them up and it bit him on the finger, and he was so proud to have copped his first hit," Irwin's widow, Terri, said Monday at an appearance at FAO Schwarz with her two children to promote a new line of toys.
"He said, 'I hope it wasn't venomous,' so I assured Robert I wouldn't actually let him play with venomous snakes," she added.
Terri Irwin said the couple's 9-year-old daughter, Bindi, was first bitten by a snake when she was 18 months old.
The girl, who is featured in theshow "Bindi the Jungle Girl," posed for cameras with a new action figure in her likeness.
"It's every little girl's dream to have an exact look-alike doll. It's amazing," said Bindi, who was signing action figure toys of her late father.
, known through his nature TV series as a wrangler of crocodiles and snakes, died in 2006 from a stingray's barbed tail during an underwater documentary shoot. He was 44.
Irwin provoked an international outcry in 2004 after being filmed holding his then 1-month-old son while feeding a snapping crocodile.