While 2020 should have been a milestone year for Australia Zoo, the Irwins instead faced financial strain and uncertainty on the tourist attraction’s 50th birthday.
Bindi Irwin admitted recently her late father Steve’s legacy was almost on the brink of collapse as they struggled to keep the business operational amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now, a source close to the famous family has told Woman’s Day magazine ‘they still aren’t out of the woods yet’.
Fears for Australia Zoo: Sources claim the Irwins aren’t ‘out of the woods yet’ as closed borders mean NO international visitors for the foreseeable future amid the family’s financial hell. Pictured: Robert, Terri and Bindi Irwin
Australia Zoo was forced to shut for 78 days last year due to the pandemic, but the Irwins still had to pay $80,000 a week to feed the animals – placing them in a dire financial predicament.
And with coronavirus still restricting international travel, the Irwins have lost crucial overseas visitors heading into 2021.
‘The zoo relies on international visitors, and with the borders closed, indeed some state borders closed, and even Aussies struggling to get home, that’s a sizable chunk of their income gone,’ the source said.
‘That’s a sizable chunk of their income gone’: With coronavirus still restricting travel across the globe, the Irwins have lost crucial visitor numbers through their gates, while still paying wages [est $400,000 per week] and animal food bills [est $80,000 per week]. Pictured: Terri, Bindi and husband Chandler Powell
Nightmare year: Bindi Irwin candidly spoke out about the struggles her family faced in 2020 in an emotional statement online in December. Pictured: Bindi with brother Robert and mother Terri, who celebrated 50 years of Australia Zoo last year
In an emotional statement shared by Bindi, 22, in December, the pregnant wildlife warrior detailed the struggles the family had faced in 2020.
‘For us, this year was filled with both tremendous joy and heartbreaking loss,’ Bindi wrote alongside a picture with her mother Terri and brother Robert, who were celebrating 50 years since the zoo opened in June, 1970.
After saying that their Wildlife Hospital was the ‘busiest it’s ever been’ due to the heartbreaking bushfires, she added that as a result the zoo was spending ‘$80,000 a week’ alone to feed their animals.
She added that 2020 was the first time in history the family have had to close their gates to guests, adding: ‘Every moment of every day the question of when or if we would recover burned in the back of our minds.
‘Our animal food bills alone are about $80,000 per week and we spent our days trying to keep our team and family of animals safe.’
Nightmare: The pregnant 22-year-old revealed how Australia Zoo were almost forced to shut down after they had to close doors for 78 days due to the pandemic, and had no income to pay the substantial bills. Pictured: The late Steve Irwin in 2002 at the iconic zoo in 2006
Terri had previously said during an episode of ‘Crikey! It’s the Irwins’ that the Sunshine Coast zoo spends a whopping $400,000 per week on wages.
Regardless of the tough year behind them, Bindi positively continued in her reflective post: ‘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.’
Staggering: Terri previously said during an episode of ‘Crikey! It’s the Irwins’ that the Sunshine Coast zoo also spends a whopping $400,000 per week on wages
She also spoke about her marriage to Chandler Powell in March, adding that the pair are now ‘patiently waiting’ for their little girl to arrive.
‘I hope this next year brings some peace and we find a way to come together as a society,’ she signed off.
‘Please remember to be kind to one another and find happiness in even the smallest of things. Thank you for your amazing support and I’ll see you in 2021.’
Another addition to the family: Bindi and her husband Chandler Powell are set to welcome their first child in the coming months