Sydney, March 3 : Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's father, Bob, has quit Australia Zoo to keep his late son's dream of conserving Australian wildlife and its habitat alive at a different property.
In a 300-word resignation letter, he expressed his desire to continue "Steve's dream" at a new property near Kingaroy.
The announcement of Bob's resignation follows claims by zoo staff and volunteers of an ongoing feud with Steve's widow Terri over treatment of staff, management of Wildlife Warriors, and the commercial direction of the world-famous attraction.
Bob made the announcement of his resignation through the press, expressing disappointment that the management of the zoo had refused to make it public on Friday, and even sent out words "that were not his".
He thanked zoo staff, animal hospital workers, Wildlife Warriors and Steve's friends in his resignation letter.
However, Bob did not mention Teri or her contribution to his late son's conservation empire and the raising of his grandchildren Bindi and Bob.
"You may rest assured that Judy (his partner) and I will continue with Steve's dream, with the passion and commitment he would expect," news.com.au quoted Bob as writing in his resignation letter, about which he went public through The Sunday Mail.
"Steve's ultimate passion, even from a young boy, was always for the conservation of Australian wildlife and its habitat. When Judy and I move to our new property we intend to carry on with wildlife rehabilitation and conservation projects," he wrote.
The website report revealed the while stepping down from his role as manager of the Ironbark Station wildlife sanctuary and koala research centre as well as his duties at Australia Zoo, Bob said: "In late 1999, Steve and I discussed important projects that were to take place at Ironbark Station. These projects have been completed with the wonderful assistance from staff and our 'wildlife caring' friends."
Terri, zoo director Wes Mennion, and family manager John Stainton declined the request for comment on claims of a family rift.
"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 (of a rift) need to end in respect to the Irwin family," said the statement. umours that the Irwins are going through a family rift have been circulating since January.
A disgruntled employee recently claimed staff were upset that Bob had been banned from the zoo after an argument with Terri.