Steve Irwin's Widow Denies Croc Hunter's Beloved Zoo Is Going Under
By Nicki Gostin Posted Feb 22nd 2011 11:55AM
"I have absolutely no intention of closing Australia Zoo," Terri Irwin firmly stated in an interview with Australian broadcaster ABC. "Our wildlife hospital is running, our wildlife experiences are continuing and we fund our conservation projects with people who come into Australia Zoo. Nothing has closed. Nothing will close."
Although she did admit that a total of 22 staff members were let go due to falling visitor attendance at the 40-year-old zoo, which was started by Steve's father, Bob.
Irwin was forced to make these remarks as at least two former employees recently came out and said that the zoo is saddled with massive debt and cannot possibly continue.
"They have blown millions on poor planning and poor execution," former curator Bruce Murdock alleges in New Idea Magazine.
He added, "Steve had a lot of dreams but they were massive dreams that only he could fund. They are trying to do it on the back of [Steve's daughter] Bindi and Terri, but I don't think they can support it."
Steve and Terri ran the zoo after he took it over from his parents. Since his death in 2006, Terri has been estranged from Steve's father. When he resigned from the zoo in 2008, he thanked all the staff for keeping his son's dream alive with the pointed exception of Terri Irwin.
Steve Irwin died on Sept. 4, 2006, while snorkeling with a stingray that fatally pierced him in the chest with its spindly barb. He died quickly of blood loss and cardiac arrest.
Daughter Bindi carried on her dad's legacy with a short-lived TV series, 'Bindi the Jungle Girl,' which ran from 2007 to 2008.
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