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News Source: The Sunday Mail (17th April 2007)
by Lou Robson
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New shop aids eco fight
TERRI Irwin made a rare public appearance yesterday at the opening of the first Australia Zoo retail outlet outside the Sunshine Coast wildlife park.

Launching Australia Zoo On the Beach, a merchandise outlet and travel agency on Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mrs Irwin smiled for the cameras but admitted staying focused was hard work seven months after the death of her crocodile hunter husband Steve Irwin.

"It's one day at a time – I've got great friends and family around me and I'm very blessed to have so much support," she said.

"There are a lot of women in the world who suffer a loss and don't have that kind of support."

Mrs Irwin said raising Bindi, 8, and Bob, 3, without Steve was a challenge.

"Everything is harder, everything is, and I think you can take someone for granted, so as soon as I lost Steve I thought, you know he did do a lot," she said.

"But I was so lucky to have so much support from Steve and he always said things like, 'You're the best mother in the world' and 'You can do anything you put your mind to' and I look back on that and I rely on that a lot."

Mrs Irwin said Australia Zoo On the Beach proceeds would go towards conservation.

"We're considering other outlets here and overseas but logistically it's complicated," Mrs Irwin said.

"All the funds will go back to the zoo and conservation which will always be our passion."

Mrs Irwin said she and Steve, who died when a stingray barb pierced his heart on September 4 last year, left nothing unsaid.

She said the couple often expressed their feelings for one another and always followed their dreams.

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