Newlywed Bindi Irwin, 21 has opened up about how she and her new husband Chandler Powell were forced to sacrifice their honeymoon plans back in March in order to save a cash-strapped Australia Zoo.
In a trailer for the upcoming TV special, Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Life in Lockdown, Bindi’s mum Terri Irwin reveals the dire state that the family’s wildlife park — and home — was left in after being forced to close due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“The pandemic has severely affected Australia Zoo financially... I can’t even come close to paying bills. We’re having to stand down staff and it’s very emotional,” a worried Terri said.
The 55-year-old went on the outline the staggering cost of running the Zoo, with 52 per cent of the park’s income — roughly $400,000 per week — going to staff members’ salaries alone.
In order to help the remaining ‘skeleton staff’ keep the Zoo afloat, Bindi and American-born Chandler, 22, cancelled their post-wedding getaway just one day after saying ‘I do’ in an intimate ceremony.
“We had originally planned to do a road trip for our honeymoon,” Bindi said in the clip, adding that the responsibility of running the park founded by her late father Steve Irwin took priority.
“It’s really scary trying to make do with a limited number of staff, and to take care of 1,200 animals,” she explained.
The Irwins are taking us behind the gates of the temporarily closed @AustraliaZoo for a special episode of Crikey! It's #TheIrwins. Learn how they work through the challenges COVID-19 and continue to care for the 1200 animals.— Animal Planet (@AnimalPlanet) June 22, 2020
Watch 'Life in Lockdown' on Saturday, July 11 at 9p. pic.twitter.com/iWSzeRX2hR
Back in May, Bindi was philosophical about how the newly married couple’s first few months as husband and wife had panned out.
“Our honeymoon may not have turned out as we’d planned, but we’re grateful to be spending time with our beautiful animals,” she captioned a snap of herself and Chandler with one of the park’s resident giraffes.
“Things are incredibly busy here while we’re temporarily not open. We’re all working together to make sure our animal family is happy.”
The Irwins return for season three
In positive news, Australia Zoo officially re-opened it’s doors to the public on June 12 — and a week later Bindi revealed that the family had signed on to star in a third season of their Animal Planet show.
“I’m so happy to announce that we’re officially filming Season 3 of our Animal Planet show, ‘Crikey! It’s The Irwins’,” she shared with her 1.3 million Instagram followers.
Chandler appeared just as excited and commented on the post saying: “Woohoo!! Can’t wait,” alongside an emoji of a crocodile.
Bindi and Chandler tie the knot
At the end of March Bindi married Chandler in a ‘small ceremony’ at Australia Zoo after being forced to ‘change everything’ due to the coronavirus.
The pair rushed to tie the knot before strict restrictions come into effect in Australia which would only have allowed five people to be present.
The couple wed in the Australia Zoo gardens, with her mum helping her getting ready and her brother Robert walking her down the aisle.
Bindi announced her engagement to her boyfriend of six years, Chandler Powell in July last year after he dropped to one knee on her 21st birthday.
Bindi and Chandler met in 2013 after the star took his family on a private tour of Australia Zoo although they didn’t start dating until July 2015.
Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Life In Lockdown is set to air on Foxtel’s Animal Planet at 7.30pm on August 1.
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