Brisbane, Mar 1 : The alleged family feud between naturalist Terry Irwin and father-in-law Bob Irwin at Australia Zoo, has taken a new twist, with Bob claiming that the zoo management did not release his full statement about a rift that he asked them to make public.
It has reportedly been said that Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's widow Terri had been entangled in a major fall-out with the family patriarch and Bob had been banned from the zoo.
The situation turned grim after Bob questioned about the whereabouts of his press release. He said that the three-sentence statement released by the zoo's marketing manager, Frank Muscillo, for explaining the alleged rift was not his.
"I wrote 11/2 pages and spent a lot of time on it. I made it clear there were to be no alterations to it. I wanted to say it how it was," The Courier-Mail quoted Bob, as saying.
The statement from the zoo read: "Bob is a gentleman of retirement age and we fully support and love him dearly. He has been through so much grief with the loss of his first wife Lyn and only son. These rumours need to end in respect to (sic) the Irwin family."
However, Bob completely denied that the statement belonged to him, saying: "No, that's not my statement," adding tongue-in-cheek "everyone knows I'm not a gentleman. I didn't know anything about it (the other statement), but that's par for the course."
He said that that the original statement he wanted released had "sort of put the matter to rest, but not (exactly) puts it to bed" and now he doesn't want to reveal the contents of the original release. In fact, Bob could not even get anyone at the zoo to reply to his messages.
"I'd like to get it sorted. I rang him (Muscillo) this morning and left a message and got no reply, which is a surprise in itself. If Frank gives me the okay I'll give it to you (The Courier-Mail. If there's one thing I am it's honest. I don't tell lies like others do around the place," he said.
Though, rumours of a family-feud have been circulating since January, the issue became serious after New Idea Magazine came up with details without naming a source.
But an angry zoo employee has now revealed that the Irwin family feud had happened after an argument regarding the treatment of zoo staff and also involved the management of Wildlife Warriors and animal welfare issues.