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CRIKEY! Check out Australia Zoo news from 2007.

News Source: Sunshine Coast Sunday (26th June 2007)

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STEVE Irwin's dream was to be a full-on warrior for whales - to tackle the Japanese harpoons head on, his wife Terri revealed at the unveiling of Australia Zoo's latest conservation "weapon".

Before the wraps came off 130-seat whale encounter vessel Steve's Whale One at the Mooloolaba wharf, Terri revealed her late husband's secret desire.

"It was always Steve's dream to do something with whales," Terri said.

"I used to worry a little bit because he said we'll put an ice-breaking pole on the front of Croc One - we'll attach a giant can opener, we'll go to Antarctica and we'll stop Japanese whaling vessels."

That gave Terri the idea for the Sunshine Coast's first whaling encounters close up, but she left it up to the kids, Bindi and young Robert, to name the boat.

Bindi, who arrived for the unveiling swinging from the rafters of a cruising Croc One, wanted it called Whale One and Robert opted for Steve, so they combined the two.

"I thought it would be nice to do something to try to help whales - I think if we can get whales into people's hearts that's going to be the number one thing," Terri said.

The encounters start on July 1. Book your tickets here.

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