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News Source: Sunshine Coast Sunday (17th April 2007)
by Nathan Woulfe
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Conservation campaign hits the beach

 ANYONE who doubted the longevity of Steve Irwin’s legacy in the wake of his untimely death should have been at Mooloolaba yesterday morning.

A crowd of 150-plus Crocodile Hunter enthusiasts gathered outside the zoo’s latest ventures – Australia Zoo on the Beach.

Australia Zoo on the Beach is the first retail outlet opened outside the zoo’s Beerwah gates.

The crowd of young and old wildlife lovers continued to swell until 9am when Terri Irwin officially opened the store and stood aside to let the crowd of shoppers pour in.

Retail manager Brian Dore said the store would offer a teaser for the zoo and an educational experience for customers.

“We hope the store will whet our customers’ appetites for what they can find behind the zoo’s gates,” Mr Dore said.

“Admission tickets, tours and animal encounters can all be pre-purchased at the shop.

“We embrace another chance to engage the local community and tourists through the shop about the importance of conservation and to encourage people to join our team of fighting Wildlife Warriors.”

The store combines a retail shop and Australia Zoo’s travel agency.

During its opening, Terri said that while Steve’s and her goal had always been to pour money into conservation, it had not always happened that way.

“I was thinking about something that made me laugh when Steve and I first got married,” Terri said.

“He said, ‘From now on, everything from Crocodile Hunter is going to go to conservation’.

“That was easy – for the first four years, we made nothing.

“Now, however, as the zoo is expanding  and our ideals are expanding we never lost those ethics or that desire to put money back into wildlife.

“I can assure you, whatever you’re doing with Australia Zoo, it’s helping conservation. This shop is no different.”

Terri said the shop had been designed to cater for all-comers, including families with small children.

“It’s designed by Brian Dore, who’s done a fantastic job, in collaboration with someone who’s a mother,” Terri said.

“So there’s an area just for kids. You can shop without having to say, ‘Put that down, put that down’,” Terri said.

Australia Zoo on the Beach is in the Oceans Resort complex on Mooloolaba Esplanade. 

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