Irwins rift deepens over Australian zoo

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Melbourne, Sept 30 : Terri Irwin and her father-in-law, Bob Irwin are at odds over whether mining should be carried out at the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve by Cape Alumina, which has further deepened the rift between the pair.

According to a report by The Australian newspaper, Bob Irwin apparently disagrees with his daughter-in-law about the future of the reserve, which was purchased with a 6.3 million dollars Commonwealth grant to commemorate the naturalist.

Bob gave the property to his crocodile hunter son and his wife before Steve was killed by a stingray in 2006, reports News.com.au.

While Terri is appealing a court decision to allow Cape Alumina to mine part of the 135,000ha property, Bob sees advantages to allowing the extraction of bauxite to go ahead.

An internal document prepared by mining company Cape Alumina shows that Bob has discussed operations at Australia Zoo with company chief executive Paul Messenger.

The Cape Alumina document, a synopsis of material gathered under Freedom of Information laws, listed a series of arguments put forward by Ms Irwin in support of protecting the Cape York reserve.

Among the reasons is Australia Zoo's commitment to wildlife.

She also says preserving the area would be a good show of public support for conservation.

Cape Alumina CEO Paul Messenger said in response to the document that Bob Irwin had told him orphaned koalas he took to the zoo almost died of starvation.

There was no suggestion that a clinic at the zoo that cares for sick or injured wildlife had contributed to the plight of the koalas and Mr Irwin could not recall the conversation with Dr Messenger.

Bob did recall discussing the mine with Messenger.

ANI

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