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Terri Irwin revealed she has taken out a bank loan to protect Australia Zoo's future, following reports the Queensland animal sanctuary was in financial strife.
The 57-year-old told the Courier Mail on Friday the loan would cover the animal sanctuary for 'at least 20 years of fallout' after the Covid pandemic, which has impacted their revenue due to lack of tourists.
She said: 'We are 11 years from the GFC and still feeling the ripples of that. So I want to be prepared for whatever's coming next.'
Financial life line: Terri Irwin revealed she's taken out a bank loan to cover Australia Zoo 'at least 20 years of fallout' after Covid - following rumours she 'might explore selling' the animal sanctuary. Pictured is Terri with her daughter Bindi
With the Sunshine State opening borders next month, she is hoping that another virus wave will not hit but said that she has strategies ready to go to prevent the zoo from going under.
The Irwin Matriarch noted that the pandemic was a difficult time as she needed to continue paying her $80,000 a week bill to feed the 1,200 animals in their care.
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Terri also had to find ways to cut costs and let go of staff from a strong 500 to 200 personnel.
She had previously said during an episode of Crikey! It's the Irwins that the Sunshine Coast zoo spends a whopping $400,000 per week on wages.
Saved by the bank: Terri said of the loan, 'We are 11 years from the GFC and still feeling the ripples of that. So I want to be prepared for whatever's coming next'
Terri told the publication her children Bindi, 23, and Robert, 17, were able to help raise funds on the retail side of the business to assist with costs.
She praised her daughter for writing a book, Creating a Conservation Legacy, about their family's work wildlife, and son - a keen nature photographer - for selling his images.
While the cost of the pandemic has been economically devastating for the Irwin's and their beloved Australia Zoo, Terri is not bitter about the strict border closures imposed by the Queensland Government.
Helping the family: Terri told the publication her children were able to help raise funds on the retail side of the business to assist with costs. Bindi, 23, wrote a book, Creating a Conservation Legacy, about their family's work wildlife
Raising funds: Meanwhile Robert (pictured) - a keen nature photographer - sold his images
She said of Covid: 'This is not the flu we are talking about. If you had open slather, then the health and wellbeing of the majority of people would have been devastating both in terms of the economy and human cost.'
Terri has been at the helm of Australia Zoo in the years since her late husband, Steve Irwin tragically died 15 years ago.
The Crocodile Hunter was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb in 2006. Bindi was eight years old and Robert just two-years-old at the time.
Crikey! Terri has been at the helm of Australia Zoo in the years since her late husband, Steve Irwin tragically died 15 years ago. Pictured: Steve Irwin at Australia Zoo in February 2002
It comes after New Idea reported that Australia Zoo is in even more financial strife than previously thought earlier this week.
According to the source, 'several key staffers' have been made redundant within the past few weeks.
The magazine also reported on rumours that Terri 'might soon explore the option of selling' the once-popular tourist destination.
Last year, Bindi admitted that her late father Steve's legacy was almost on the brink of collapse as the family struggled to keep the business operational amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Financial troubles: It comes after New Idea reported that Australia Zoo is in even more financial strife than previously thought earlier this week. According to the source, 'several key staffers' have been made redundant within the past few weeks
Then in January this year a source close to the famous family told Woman's Day magazine 'they still aren't out of the woods yet'.
Australia Zoo was forced to shut for 78 days last year due to the pandemic, but the Irwins still had to pay $80,000 a week to feed the animals.
The huge outlay placed the zoo in a dire financial predicament, particularly with international visitors unable to enter into Australian borders.
'The zoo relies on international visitors, and with the borders closed, indeed some state borders closed, and even Aussies struggling to get home, that's a sizable chunk of their income gone,' the source said.
Times are changing: The magazine also reported on rumours that Terri 'might soon explore the option of selling' the zoo. But, Australia Zoo's fortunes are likely to change with Terri's revelation of the loan and the Queensland's border restrictions set to be lifted in December. Pictured together is Chandler Powell with wife Bindi and daughter Grace, Terri and Robert
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10220229/Terri-Irwin-reveals-shes-taken-bank-loan-cover-Australia-Zoo.html2305