I’m not a big fan of zoos but in Brisbane, we visited Australia Zoo as it had beenrecommended by a few people. Also, we were keen to see some native Australian wildlife during our stay.
I also assumed that Steve Irwin would ensure that the animals were kept in a natural and humane environment. We all enjoyed the day out. We saw crocodiles snapping at a white bucket, the kids fed pellets to kangeroos and wallabies and we cuddled sleepy koalas. We also saw dingos, echidnas, possums, macaws, snakes, wombats, turtles, tigers and the world famous Australian elephant (shurely shome mistake here - Ed).
However, although all the animals looked healthy with large, open pens and appeared to be deliriously happy, I was left with a slight feeling of unease about my experience at Australia Zoo. The image of Steve Irwin aka ‘Crocodile Hunter’, who took over management of the zoo from a small wildlife park created by his father, was plastered everywhere. Irwin died in 2006 after being attacked by a stingray while filming on the Great Barrier Reef.
Now, obviously, the Irwin family own the zoo and are perfectly entitled to use the image of Steve Irwin as much as they like and I have no doubt that every single picture of Irwin’s smiling face together with his catch phrase of ‘CRIKEY’ has been approved by his widow, Terri and probably existed prior to Irwin’s death.
However, I find it a little unsettling that Terri Irwin is also now using her two children, Bindi and Robert (Bobby), whose faces also appear in videos, posters, billboard adverts and promotions liberally scattered around the zoo.