May 2003
Steve's Croc Of Gold

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The TV Guide 16 May 2003



News Source: The TV Guide, page 21, 16 May, 2003

While other kids were opening cans of pet food for their cats or dogs, Steve Irwin was out catching fish and rodents to feed to his crocodiles and snakes.

Aussie Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin has a not-so-secret fear.

Irwin, back on TV3 in The Crocodile Hunter Diaries, admits to being scared of parrots and similar birds.

“For some reason parrots have to bite me,” he says. “That’s their job. I don’t know why that is. They’ve nearly torn my nose off. I’ve had some really bad parrot bites.”

He is much happier with his beloved crocodiles, which have brought him fame and fortune, or snakes.

“Snakes are no problem. I’ve been playing with snakes since before I could walk. It doesn’t matter where or what it is, from the biggest to the most venomous.”

His sixth birthday present was what he had always wanted – a scrub python.

Irwin says he’s also quite comfortable with sharks, and crocodiles hold no fears. “I’ve been catching them since I was nine. No problem.”

The Crocodile Hunter Diaries follows the day-to-day lives of Irwin, his American wife, Terri and their daughter, Bindi Sue, on their home ground – Australia Zoo, north of Brisbane.

The zoo was opened in 1973 by Irwin’s parents, reptile enthusiasts Bob and Lyn. When they retired in 1991, their son took over as manager. Today Australia Zoo has 250 staff, houses more than 750 animals and covers over 100 hectares.

Life at the zoo is as eventful as any television drama, says Irwin.

“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll come back again and again for more,” he says.

The series isn’t just about the animals. It also follows the personal lives of the zoo team and the Irwin clan.

The episodes explore everything from tragic bush fires at the animal rehab facility to the births of some of the most deadly and difficult animals in captivity.