Bindi Irwin says dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly challenging for her family – much like Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin’s tragic death in 2006.
“It has probably been the hardest time in our lives other than when dad passed away,” the conservationist, 23, exclusively told Page Six in a new interview.
“For us it’s been difficult [because] Australia Zoo has over a thousand animals. We literally can’t ever close.”
The former “Dancing With the Stars” champion told Page Six that she and her family were in lockdown for 78 days.
“We still had to feed all our animals, do checkups,” she explained. “It’s as if we were still open, but without any visitors.”
Bindi proudly praised mother Terri Irwin, 57, for being “the champion” throughout this difficult time, adding, “I don’t know what we would have done without her.”
“Her leadership has been phenomenal,” she gushed.
Fortunately, the Irwins were still able to film Season 4 of “Crikey! It’s the Irwins” amid the pandemic.
Bindi’s younger brother, 18-year-old Robert Irwin, told Page Six that the new season is the family’s most personal one yet, due to the debut of Bindi‘s daughter, Grace Warrior Irwin Powell. Bindi and husband Chandler Powell welcomed their baby girl in March.
“Of course, the biggest part of Season 4 is the arrival of baby Grace,” Robert teased. “I feel like the proudest uncle in the world.”
He added, “Getting to take everyone on the journey of Bindi being pregnant and then, of course, the arrival of Grace – which was dramatic and exciting and wonderful. Apart from that, there are some incredible wildlife stories.”
Later in the interview, Bindi also addressed her decision to take a break from social media to focus on her mental health last year. She told Page Six that she now tries her best to filter out negativity and focus only on the “positive.”
“I do think that the world of social media can be negative, but it can also bring about so much good, so I have chosen to try to revel in the good,” she explained. “I’m trying to bring a little more light and love in everyone’s day by sharing what we’re doing at Australia Zoo, our conservation work and maybe brighten someone’s day by getting to see Grace next to a koala joey.”
She continued, “Maybe that’s something that someone needs, so I’m trying really hard to focus on the positive. You have to be careful though. As I have learned along the way, really try not to read those bad comments, everyone faces that struggle.
You have to choose to rise, and continue to do what you love, and that’s kind of the road that I’ve decided to take.”
Terri – who was married to Steve for 14 years before he tragically died after being pierced in the chest by a short-tail stingray – told Page Six that her late husband would have been an incredible grandfather to baby Grace.
“First of all, we would never see Grace. He would just be out showing her everything,” she said with a laugh. “He was completely captivated by his kids, and I know he’d be an amazing grandfather and absolutely in love with Grace. We all are.”
“I mean who would have thought Grace would be perfect? But she is! She just happens to be the perfect child,” Terri jokingly added. “[I give] a lot of credit to Bindi and Chandler because they’re terrific parents. But I think Steve would have been out in the zoo with her nonstop.”
Season 4 of ”Crikey! It’s the Irwins“ premieres Jan. 1 on Animal Planet.