“Don’t sell our zoo!” Robert Irwin’s desperate bid on Australia Zoo

Emotions run high amid talks about the future
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Against all odds, Terri Irwin has single-handedly kept her late husband’s baby, Australia Zoo, afloat in the 16 years since his tragic death.

Watch Below: Robert Irwin releases his first photography book

It’s been both a blessing and a curse for the US-born Wildlife Warrior, who juggled running the commercial enterprise with raising two children, and a huge staff and hundreds of animals under her care.

Terri, 58, has “seen it all,” tells a well-placed insider. “There has been joy, unbearable loss, and in recent years some very hard financial times thanks to COVID border closures affecting tourist revenue.

“So it’s no surprise that, as she nears 60, she might be considering how her future looks,” continues the insider.

Robert and Terri Irwin
“Robert’s pleading with Terri to pass Australia Zoo to him.” (Credit: Getty)

From the get-go, the plan was to hand ownership of Australia Zoo to Terri and Steve’s eldest child, Bindi, 24. 

However, her starting a family at such a young age with husband Chandler Powell wasn’t factored into things. 

Currently focused on daughter Grace, 1, Bindi adores being a mum and would love to have more children in the future. 

“It’s a beautiful time for her, and Terri doesn’t want to burden her with the pressure of running the family zoo,” tells the source. 

Robert, Bindi and Terri Irwin
Bindi is busy being a mother to 1 year old Grace! (Credit: Getty)

There’s also talk that Bindi and Chandler, 25, are eager to start splitting their time between Australia and Florida, where Chandler is from and his family still live. 

“Terri has even privately wondered if she should sell up – the profits would be more than enough for them all to live comfortably for the rest of their lives,” divulges the source. 

Although selling is still just a thought at this time, sources say the mere suggestion has been vehemently opposed by her son Robert. 

Watch Below: Bindi Irwin’s daughter recognises Steve Irwin

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Turning 19 this December, the handsome star is dedicated to following in his dad’s wildlife conservation footsteps.

“Robert’s pleading with Terri to pass Australia Zoo to him,” says a source. “He understands that it’ll be time for his mum to take a step back soon.

“He’s voiced to both Terri and Bindi that it would make more sense for him to take over. He’d do anything to make sure his dad’s zoo and the realisation of all his mum’s hard work stays in the family.”

Irwin Family
“Mum is the one who kept it going.” (Credit: Instagram)

It comes after an emotional Robert praised Terri during an interview with the ABC last month.

“She could have just sold the zoo and raised us. And we could have squirrelled away and lived a hidden little life,” he said, before adding that walking away from the zoo wouldn’t have been the “wrong thing to do”.

“She could see this legacy that he started and she said, ‘I’m making sure this is going to continue and grow and get bigger and better every single year.’

“Everyone saw Dad as this larger-than-life character … but Mum is the one who kept it going.”

The source adds, “Robert feels it’s time to take up the baton. To him, it’s his destiny. He’s keen to quash any speculation that Terri might sell up when it’s time for her to retire.”

For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea. Out now!

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