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Steve Irwin's father leaves zoo

  |   March 3, 2008 at 1:38 PM
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BEERWAH, Australia, March 3 (UPI) -- Bob Irwin, the father of late wildlife conservationist and TV personality Steve Irwin, has resigned from the family's Australia Zoo, a published report said.

Britain's Guardian newspaper said Bob Irwin has been unhappy with the way Steve Irwin's wife Terri Irwin has been commercializing the family business, which Bob Irwin started as a reptile park in the 1970s.

In a statement issued to Australia's Sunday Telegraph, Bob Irwin said it was a "difficult decision" to leave the zoo but added he planned to "continue Steve's dream" at a property he recently acquired in another part of Queensland.

"You may rest assured that Judy (his partner) and I will continue Steve's dream, with the passion and commitment he would expect," Bob Iwin said in the statement. "Steve's ultimate passion, even from a young boy, was always for the conservation of Australian wildlife and its habitat."

The Guardian reported John Stainton, Steve Irwin's longtime business partner who is now guiding 9-year-old Bindi Irwin's career, said he wasn't aware of a rift between Bob Irwin and Terri Irwin.

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