Irwin family feud reignites as Crocodile Hunter's sister speaks out

Holly Hales
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
The tight knit Irwin family have been estranged from some of their extended relatives. Photo: Animal Planet

Bindi, Robert and Terri Irwin gained a seemingly permanent place in Australia’s collective heart following the death of their Crocodile Hunter father and husband Steve in 2006.

But the tight knit clan have had their squeaky clean image rocked in recent weeks, as rumours of a rift between the trio and their relatives continue to swirl. 

The Irwins’ family rift

The family feud first resurfaced earlier this month when patriarch Bob Irwin revealed he did not expect an invitation to Bindi’s upcoming wedding to Chandler Powell.

This falling out is believed to have been sparked two years after Steve’s death over differences of opinion with Terri and his son’s best mate Wes Carrion.

Now, Steve’s older sister has joined in the chorus of criticism towards how Australia Zoo - which Bob founded in the 1970s - has been run over the past decade.

Joy Muscillo spoke to Daily Mail outside of her father’s property in rural Queensland, calling the relatives’ distance towards one another a 'very sad' situation.

“I keep away from all that,” she said. “It's just very sad... family stuff.”

Mrs Muscillo is believed to have once been in charge of the zoo’s foodcourt while her husband, Frank, was the park’s general manager.

Bob Irwin with Bindi, Bob and Terri before he left the zoo, and lost contact with his late son's family. Photo: Getty Images

However, he was reportedly forced from the job by Terri in 2016—a move which led to Joy and their children also leaving the organisation just months later.

At the time of the family’s departure they were allegedly bound to a confidentiality agreement in a bid to stop details coming to light.

While the contract has now expired, Mrs Muscillo has reportedly made the 'personal decision' to not offer extended commentary on the family’s estrangement.

Yahoo Lifestyle have contacted Australia Zoo for comment.

Speaking out

In 2015, her famous niece, Bindi spoke out about the nature of her relationship with Bob, saying their rift was born out of grief.

“When my dad passed away he (Bob) chose to distance himself from everything that dad loved the most,” she told New Idea at the time.

Bindi and Chandler announced their engagement on Bindi's 21st birthday, July 24. Photo: Instagram/bindisueirwin

“At the moment we’re really just respecting his wishes because he hasn’t had anything to do with us for a long time and he decided his own path,” she continued.

“That’s important so good for him.”

But earlier this month, Bob told The Courier Mail he would love to attend his granddaughter’s nuptials but was yet to receive an invitation.

“Much the same as any other parent or grandparent, I would wish (Bindi and Chandler) all the best — which I do — and hope things go really, really well,’’ he said.

Bindi and Chandler announced their engagement in July this year, on Bindi’s 21st birthday.

The couple are planning to televise the lavish ceremony which will take place at Australia Zoo, and Bindi will be accompanied down the aisle by younger brother Robert, named for his estranged grandpa.

If an invitation were to be extended to Bindi’s Aussie grandpa, it would be his first time in the zoo in over a decade.

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