No doubt a tough decision to make for the Zoo’s bosses, the loss is said to be impacting the day-to-day runnings of the Sunshine State attraction – prompting rumours Terri might soon explore an option to sell it entirely to relieve pressure.
“Now gone are some of the most experienced wildlife warriors the Zoo ever had,” the staffer explains, noting two of the affected personnel had even worked alongside the late Steve Irwin.
“We’re talking about staff who knew the Zoo like the back of the hand, and now their absence has understandably caused a bit of chaos,” adds the source.
Earlier this year, Terri told Australian media that despite having little to no income, they still had to pay a whopping $400,000 per week on staff wages, plus $78,914 on food for the zoo’s 1200 animals.
“We knew costs were huge, food alone for the animals comes in at around $80,000 a week! But we’re scratching our heads, why cut the A-team? Their experience is invaluable. It’s all been a hard pill to swallow,” continues the source.
Fearing the worst, remaining employees are worried Terri may be forced to do something drastic and sell up - which would mark the end to the 280-acre haven that the late great Steve Irwin created with his parents, Robert ‘Bob’ and Lyn, over fifty years ago.
Tellingly, last week Terri took to Twitter to share with her followers how much she misses her home town of Eugene, Oregon – where her family currently reside.
“I miss my hometown, Eugene Oregon. I miss my family, friends, and the beautiful wildlife. Today I’m thinking of somewhere super special,” she wrote.
The insider explains that it certainly would come as no surprise if Terri offloaded the Zoo and returned home to America for some much-needed family time.
Bindi and her husband Chandler Powell would be in tow given Florida-born Chandler has not seen his parents in two years, nor have they met their 8-month year old daughter, Grace.
As the future of the Zoo hangs in the balance, our insider says everyone, including the Irwin family are focused on the wellbeing of the animals they have worked hard to keep.
“Nobody wants to see Steve or his father’s legacy fall over, but every business in Australia has been impacted in some way by covid,” says the source. Adding, “The changes at the Zoo have been heartbreaking, here’s hoping there is some light at the end of the tunnel”.
For more, pick up a copy of New Idea. On sale now!