“Terri is terribly homesick for the States and has been for some time,” an insider reveals.
“She loves Australia and will always have a huge attachment to the country, especially the Sunshine Coast, which she thinks is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
“But she’s been away from her American loved ones for so many years now.
“It’s something she put off for a long time, but now Bindi and Chandler are married, Terri can forge ahead with those plans at long last.”
Bindi and Chandler tied the knot in an intimate March 25 ceremony at the zoo.
Terri has been based in Australia since falling in love with her beloved late husband, Steve ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Irwin, whom she met in her mid-20s while visiting the popular zoo as a tourist.
At the time, she was working in the construction business in Eugene, Oregon, where she grew up with her sisters Patricia Raines and Bonnie Marineau.
And while Terri has since fallen out with Patricia, she’s still very close to Bonnie, as well as her brother-in-law, Bonnie’s husband John.
In recent weeks Terri, who lived a completely different life before becoming an Irwin, has been dropping hints about her impending stateside return on Twitter, gushing over her US in-laws while voicing her affection for the country.
“Stay strong New York. We miss you, we love you, and we can’t wait to visit you again,” she posted on April 27.
Our insider adds, “Terri has a lot of unfinished business to take care of in the States, and she’s very excited to hook up with a lot of her family and friends, many of whom she hasn’t seen in years.
“Even before Steve’s tragic death [in 2006], she’s been dedicating her entire life to the family brand and nobody could deny what an incredible job she’s done – not only to keep Steve’s memory alive, but taking the family franchise to a whole new level.
“The feeling is that while she’ll still be heavily involved with the Irwin brand from abroad it’s time for young blood to take over on home soil and continue where she’s left off.
“Nobody would deny it’s Bindi’s birthright, after all, and she’s dreamed of taking over the zoo. Plus, Terri trusts Chandler as much as any of her blood relatives. He’s a perfect ambassador for the family alongside Bindi, and Terri has every faith they will be together forever to run the zoo how Steve would have wanted.”
Bindi and Chandler have had their own living quarters within the zoo’s sprawling compound since the Florida-born wakeboard champ moved permanently to our shores in 2018.
“Once Terri heads back to America they’ll most likely move into the main residence on the compound but it goes without saying she will be free to come and go as she pleases,” adds the source.
“Terri has promised she’ll still be visiting them plenty once she’s based back in Oregon full-time, which will be towards the end of this year, all going well.
“But she’s also hoping Bindi and Chandler will still find time to visit her, too. They all love the idea of road-tripping across America, with Robert and some close family friends.”
While Terri has plenty to look forward to with her new adventure, she’ll also have the awkward prospect of living close to estranged sister Patricia, whom she fell out with following the death of their mother, Judy Raines, in 2014.
It is understood the pair had been bickering over property for years, with judicial records discovered last year revealing Terri had sued Patricia for alleged “conversion and negligence’’ – however the case was dismissed.
In an exclusive interview with New Idea in 2016, Patricia confirmed she and Terri were very much estranged, though she refused to elaborate what led to their dispute.
“Truthfully I’m afraid – it’s very sad and I’m not at liberty to speak freely – it would be life changing,” she said cryptically at the time, adding, “It’s so petty and it was so small ... How people can hang onto grudges, I’m totally amazed. My heart aches so bad.”
The source adds, “Terri’s relationship with Patricia is still awkward. But hopefully they can meet up and mend fences.
“Either way, this is something Terri is deadly serious about following through with.”
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