Steve Irwin's family is carrying on his legacy in the wake of wildfires that devastated vast swathes of Australia. Since opening in 2014, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has helped over 90,000 animals, a number that increased steadily over the last few months as they accepted patients from around the nation.
Terri, Bindi, and Robert have also been vocal advocates of animals during the disaster, one billion of which are feared to have perished in the wildfires. In an interview with Sunrise, Terri warned that koalas might need to classed as endangered following the fires, explaining: “We’re just trying to do our best to help in any way we can, but it’s a horrific situation. We’re heartbroken.”
And Robert Irwin, in particular, has been drawing comparisons to his father recently after he shared a photograph of himself cuddling a koala at Australia Zoo.
The photograph immediately drew comparisons to an iconic photo of Steve, with one user writing: "Did anyone else think this was Steve at first? Beautiful moment captured."
While another added: "I legit thought this was Steve."
"I legit thought this was Steve," one user added.
While another concluded: "At first I thought that was your dad!"
In January, Bindi Irwin, Steve's daughter, revealed that the Irwin family's Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital had been inundated with patients since the wildfires began. They've helped so many animals in recent months that the hospital has now treated 90,000 patients since the hospital opened 16 years ago.
In an Instagram post, Bindi revealed: "With so many devastating fires within Australia, my heart breaks for the people and wildlife who have lost so much. I wanted to let you know that we are SAFE. There are no fires near us @AustraliaZoo or our conservation properties."
"Our Wildlife Hospital is busier than ever though, having officially treated over 90,000 patients. My parents dedicated our Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital to my beautiful grandmother. We will continue to honour her by being Wildlife Warriors and saving as many lives as we can."
In a separate Instagram post, Bindi explained that the hospital has been in overdrive since drought conditions began in September. Among their patients are hundreds of grey-headed flying foxes, a species listed as vulnerable, who were sent to the hospital after rescue centers they were recovering in were evacuated.
"Some of the orphans are now being cared for by the team at the hospital until they’re big enough to go home, and there’s no threat of fire," Bindi explained. "In September, flying fox admissions to the hospital skyrocketed by over 750% due to drought conditions and lack of food. Flying foxes are now being drastically affected by wildfires and we’re again seeing an influx of these beautiful animals from across the country."
In 2019, the hospital also opened "a sea turtle rehabilitation center, sea snake ward and are about to complete a new bird recovery area."
Bindi went on to implore her followers to donate to Australia Zoo's Wildlife Warriors charity to help their efforts.
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