The Irwin family, who lost their patriarch Steve Irwin 15 years ago in a freak accident, has continued running the Australia Zoo in his absence. Bindi Irwin, Steve’s daughter, recently shared a photo on Instagram of one of her family’s nightly walks through the zoo.
The picture, which features Bindi, her baby Grace Warrior, and dog Piggy, shows how important the wildlife center is to them. Sadly, the Australia Zoo is currently suffering from financial burdens.
Bindi’s Dogs Love A Zoo Visit
The daughter of late wildlife expert Steve Irwin got Piggy, a Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, in 2019. Bindi and her husband Chandler Powell later welcomed a human baby girl in March of 2021. Since then, fans of Bindi have come to expect the cutest photos of Piggy and baby Grace Warrior cuddling.
The family’s other dog is a Pug named Stella (the two Irwin dogs share their own Instagram account.) All members of this family spend much of their time strolling around the Australia Zoo.
An Irwin Family Institution For Decades
Established in 1970, the two-acre wildlife park housed snakes, freshwater crocodiles, lace monitors, and kangaroos. The zoo’s website notes it’s always been a family business:
“Many of the kangaroos were cared for in homemade pouches by Steve’s mum, Lyn. She was an extraordinary wildlife rehabilitator and was quite skilled in nursing injured and orphaned animals, rehabilitating them before returning them to the wild.”
Today, the Irwin family maintains the legacies of Steve and Lyn by continuing their conservation goals. Both Bindi and her brother Robert, as well as Steve’s wife Terri, dedicate their lives to the zoo and its mission.
“Terri, Bindi and Robert’s efforts today honor the greatest Wildlife Warrior that ever lived. They are ensuring that Steve’s legacy lives on. Australia Zoo now encompasses over 700 acres and employs over 500 staff, continuing Steve’s mission of “Conservation Through Exciting Education.'”
Australia Zoo Faces Financial Woes
Unfortunately, the family struggled to keep the business afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic. Australia Zoo was forced to close for 78 days in 2020. They also lost out on international visitors due to pandemic travel restrictions.
Without attendance, the costs of running the place remained very high. It took $80,000 a week to feed all the animals taken in during Australian bushfires, and weekly wages amount to around $400,000 per week.
On the 50th anniversary of the institution in 2020, Bindi shared in a statement:
“For us, this year was filled with both tremendous joy and heartbreaking loss. Every moment of every day the question of when or if we would recover burned in the back of our minds.”
Optimistically, Bindi concluded:
“However, we were reminded that there is always hope on the horizon. Things turned around in Australia and we were able to open our doors once again to people needing a safe haven of gardens and wildlife.”
Hopefully, once things slowly return to normal, the Irwins’ zoo will recover too.