Terri Irwin confirmed that their family-owned zoo has finally completed the project of building an elephant hospital in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Steve Irwin who was known as Australia's crocodile hunter passed away in 2006 after a massive stingray stabbed him, "hundreds of times." With that, the conservationist's dream of opening an elephant hospital in Indonesia died as well. But not for his family members who loved him so dearly. Although Irwin is no more in this world to witness his wishes become reality, his family has made sure to fulfill it. According to a report by Stuff.co.nz, Terri Irwin confirmed that their family-owned zoo has finally completed the project of building an elephant hospital in Sumatra, Indonesia.
"We just — just — finished one of his greatest goals which was to open an elephant hospital in Indonesia," she said. Speaking to BuzzFeed News, naturalist said that this hospital was one of the "greatest goals" of Steve that he wanted to achieve, but sadly couldn't see it happen. "In Sumatra, when elephants step on a landmine or they get caught in a snare there was no hospital to treat them, and we now have just opened an elephant hospital, so it's pretty special," she told the outlet. "These are the things we talk about," she continued, adding, "and it's so important to continue his mission."
Confirming the same, a spokesperson for Australia Zoo in Queensland told the outlet that they had helped with the construction of a hospital and staff accommodation that would assist critically endangered Sumatran elephant. "Steve dreamed of opening an elephant hospital after witnessing first-hand the issues they were facing in the wild," revealed Luke Reavley, an Australia Zoo staff member through an email. As per the World Wildlife Fund, the species has drastically reduced in number due to poaching, habitat deforestation, and the conflict between humans and elephants.
Reavley further disclosed that the Australia Zoo was one of several organizations that helped fund the construction of this Elephant Hospital. In addition to this, the zoo's veterinarians also provided ongoing training to the Indonesian team. "Australia Zoo have sent staff to microchip elephants to better monitor their population," added Reavley. Explaining the importance of continuing Steve's legacy, daughter Bindi Irwin said, "I think for us as a family we always want to make sure that his legacy continues because Dad always said, 'I don't care if people remember me, I care if people remember my message.'"
Ever since his death, his wife Terri and children Robert and Bindi Irwin have continued their conservation efforts all around the world. The family's zoo is the prime focus of Animal Planet series Crikey! It's the Irwins. Speaking about the future plans of the zoo, Bindi said that the family has set up a new business plan. "We have projects all over the planet about that he was so passionate about that we've continued," she continued. "Helping rhinos and cheetahs in Africa, tigers in Sumatra — it's so important for us to continue Dad's legacy and what he loved the most, which was wildlife conservation."