STEVE Irwin’s dad lives his life as a recluse following the death of his son and an ensuing family feud, it’s claimed.
Bob Snr has reportedly not spoken to his tragic son’s wife and kids for more than ten years and lives behind chained-up gate with signs ordering people to stay clear.
His estrangement from his family is said to have happened after 2008 when he quit Australia Zoo.
He had founded and ran it with Steve who died aged 44 two years before in Batt Reef, after a stingray’s barb pierced his heart.
But after his son’s death, he fell out with his daughter-in-law Terri and their kids, Robert and Bindi about the running of the zoo.
He now lives in a secluded 260ha property called Camp Chilli bordering a national park, reports Daily Mail Australia.
Locals say he has become a “recluse” in recent years.
One said: “He’s quiet [when I see him], just goes about his business and leaves.
“I think he just wants to be left alone.”
Bob Snr opened the Beerwah Reptile Park on June 3, 1970, with his late wife Lyn.
The pair started on just four acres of land, and lived in a caravan until Mr Irwin built the young family a home on the property.
Joy Muscillo, Steve’s older sister, says she would have spoken about the rift earlier, but there was a confidentiality agreement stopping her from doing so.
But since it has now lapsed, Joy told the Daily Mail, the state of her family’s current relationship is “very sad”.
She added: “I keep away from all that. It’s just very sad… family stuff.She
Daugher Bindi reportedly said that when her dad passed away Bob chose to distance himself from everything that dad loved the most.
She said: “At the moment we’re really just respecting his wishes because he hasn’t had anything to do with us for a long time and he decided his own path.”
Bindi even claimed Bob rejected birthday presents from them on one occasion.
She said: “He opened them up and he sent them back.”
Everyone deals with grief differently
Hints of strained relations became apparent earlier this month, when Steve’s dad Bob said he didn’t expect to be invited to his granddaughter Bindi’s wedding.
Bob and his wife Lyn founded the family’s Beerwah Reptile Park, which later became Australia Zoo, in 1970.
It was there that Steve’s interest in animals became apparent as he started helping his parents care for the crocodiles and reptiles.
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Joy also worked at the zoo, looking after the food court, and her husband was the general manager.
But in 2008, she claimed Terri “walked [her husband] out” of the zoo.
After this, she decided to leave the business with her adult children and Bob soon followed too.
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