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In her father’s footsteps

PREETI ZACHARIAH
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CHAT “I hope to make my Dad proud, and carry on in his footsteps”, says Bindi Irwin

Each and every one of us can make a differenceBindi with her mum Terri and brother Roger
Each and every one of us can make a differenceBindi with her mum Terri and brother Roger

Bindi Irwin is certainly a chip off the old block. She may be only 14, but Bindi with her brother Robert and mother Terri, are reinforcing Steve Irwin’s legacy and continuing the relentless fight for wildlife preservation.

Animals Planet’s brand new series Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors , showcases the adventures of this family in the Australia Zoo, as they grapple a series of interesting situations which include a tiger tooth extraction, tending to a koala that’s been hit by a car or tracking a crocodile in the wild.

Over an e-mail interview, Bindi talks about conservation, the show, her brush with tinsel town and the legacy of her father.

Tell me about the serial. I’ve heard that so far undisclosed footage will be screened in it.

Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors is our new show which will take you behind the scenes of our lives here at Australia Zoo. Along the way you will get to meet our wonderful team of Wildlife Warriors. You’ll see everything from wildlife rescues to jumping crocs in far north Queensland! We want to keep Dad’s dream alive and make sure that his legacy continues for future generations to come, and this is one action packed show on Animal Planet which will give you a little insight on what we get up to.

 Tell me how shows like this one go towards the larger cause of environmental awareness and conservation.

I want to make sure that my Dad’s message and legacy continues on forever. I have dedicated my life to being a wildlife warrior and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. In my life I hope to make a difference and encourage others to stand up for what they believe in and help to protect mother earth for the generations to come. We have to ‘be the change we wish to see in the world’. I hope to make my Dad proud, and carry on in his footsteps.

You have acted in Free Willy and Nims Island. Have you chosen the roles because they are hugely animal-centric and touch topics close to your heart?

I think that filming is a great way to bring my message of conservation to a bigger audience of people and I would like to continue with my filming work. As I get older I would also like to start tackling bigger issues facing the world today. Issues such as over human population and the non-consumptive use of wildlife seem to be the ‘elephant in the room’ that everyone tends to ignore. I would like to start bringing these problems to people’s attention, because if you don’t talk about them, nothing gets solved.

Tell me more about Steve's legacy and how you think he made a difference.

One of the biggest things that we should all remember in life is that each and every one of us can make a difference. Working with planet earth, instead of against it, will create a better future for generations to come. I don’t want to see my grandchildren without clean air, fresh drinking water and an earth abundant with wildlife. If we want a beautiful world for generations to come, we must all start taking action now, to create change. Everyone can help. We all have a voice and can take a stand.

My dad, Steve Irwin, was one man who changed the world. If one man can make a difference, you can make a difference!

How does an everyday person go about being a wildlife warrior?

Being a Wildlife Warrior means to dedicate your life to making the world a better place for future generations to come and thinking about your actions on the planet. Wildlife Warriors educate others around them about how to make a difference in our world. We only have one planet and one life, but if we work it right, one is enough. If we want the planet to be a beautiful place for future generations, we’ve got to work together. I love spreading the message and teaching others about wildlife and conservation. It’s a great feeling.

What are your future plans? What do you want to achieve by this serial?

I am following my passion in life, which I think is so important. In life you have to do what you love. So, for me, I am very blessed to be in the position to be able to follow my dreams, and share my love for wildlife and conservation with such a wide audience of people with our filming work. I will never wake up one morning and say “I’m done saving the world; I’m going to be an astronaut!” That is not going to happen. This is what I love to do and I will continue doing it.

With this serial, I want to give a message to kids my own age that never forget that you have a voice. Even though we are young, we still have a voice and can use it. As the younger generation we are the next voters, the next decision makers and the next generation that is going to make a difference on our planet. Be strong and always believe. If you do that, you will be able to undertake and accomplish anything.

PREETI ZACHARIAH

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