Terri Irwin : biography
Terri Irwin, (née Raines; born July 20, 1964) is an Australian-based, American-born naturalist and author, the widow of Australian naturalist Steve Irwin and owner of Australia Zoo at Beerwah, Queensland, Australia. She co-starred with her husband on The Crocodile Hunter, their unconventional television nature documentary series along with its spin-off series, Croc Files and The Crocodile Hunter Diaries. She has lived in Australia since 1992, when she married Steve Irwin.
Terri Irwin has expressed support for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and was present at the launching of one of the organization’s vessels which was renamed after her husband.
She joined an emergency veterinary hospital in 1989 as a veterinary technician to gain further knowledge on the care and support to all kinds of animals. Her life was very busy, as she was still helping her father run the family business, rehabilitating animals through her "Cougar Country", and working at the vet hospital. In addition, she had fifteen cats of her own, several birds and a dog.
In 1991, she went on a tour of Australia, and while visiting wildlife rehabilitation facilities, she had a chance meeting with and was charmed by Steve Irwin, whose father had owned the Australia Zoo. A "whirlwind romance" followed: They were engaged after only four months, and eight months later, on June 4, 1992, they married. Their first television documentary was filmed on their honeymoon. The footage, shot by John Stainton, became the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter, which later became successful in the United States.
The couple settled in Australia, Terri leaving her Cougar Country project behind in the United States. However, as a partner in their wildlife enterprises and television shows, she believes she was able to do far greater work on behalf of wildlife conservation.
In addition to their two popular television programs shown on the Animal Planet television network in the United States, in 2002, the Irwins released a feature film, The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.
In an interview before the birth of their second child, Terri Irwin had this to say about her marriage and working with her husband Steve:
"We don’t drink, we don’t smoke, and we are actually in love and happily married. We love our little girl, we go home to each other at night, and we believe in what we are doing.
Say my husband had a dangerous job and I wasn't with him; I don't know how you go, 'Oh honey, how was it with the police department today? You got all your fingers and toes today?' It would scare me. I'd have to become a police officer and work with him; I couldn't do it." - Rebecca Murray
Terri and her children were reportedly trekking in Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, when her husband Steve died on the morning of September 4, 2006 after sustaining chest and heart injuries from a short-tail stingray barb which pierced his heart. He was filming an underwater documentary at the time at Batt Reef near Port Douglas in Queensland.
In her first statement since her husband’s death on September 4, 2006, Terri announced the Australian memorial service on September 20, 2006, at Australia Zoo in Queensland, would be open to the public, and that people who wish to attend should make a donation to Irwin’s "Wildlife Warriors" fund. The service was held at the "Crocoseum," a 5,500-seat open-air amphitheater, which Steve built at the zoo and which Terri chose over any larger facility. She also thanked well-wishers for their "overwhelming outpouring of love, support and prayers for [her] family". Terri herself was seemingly too upset to speak at the ceremony. She remained with her young son, Bob, during the proceedings, but her daughter Bindi spoke about her love for her father, for which she received a standing ovation.
Australian TV network Channel 9 screened an interview between Terri and local presenter Ray Martin, on Wednesday 27 September, at 8:30pm on the station. During the interview, she said "And I’ll make Australia Zoo bigger. I’ll make it bigger… because I promised." Barbara Walters announced on The View she would be holding an exclusive interview with Terri, which aired September 27 in the US.