Bunny is the name Terri Irwin has chosen to be called by her first grandchild.

Daughter Bindi Irwin, along with new husband Chandler Powell, is weeks away from giving birth.

"We have got our next wildlife warrior coming along and I know she will be amazing," Terri says excitedly. "It is so amazing and special and wonderful. We looked through grandma names that are associated with animals and mostly in Europe and a bit in North America, grandmothers are called Bunny and so I am going to be grandma Bunny."

Bindi, 22, and partner Chandler were married last March, days before COVID-19 shut down the world and not long after bushfires ravaged much of the country.

Robert Irwin, Chandler Powell, Bindi Irwin, Terri Irwin and Robert Irwin at Australia Zoo. Picture: supplied
Robert Irwin, Chandler Powell, Bindi Irwin, Terri Irwin and Robert Irwin at Australia Zoo. Picture: supplied

Younger brother Robert describes himself as the fun uncle, or "funcle".

"I can't wait to be an uncle," he says. "She is going to have such an amazing team around her. Mum is going to be the most incredible grandmother. It is so weird thinking of that. It feels like a new beginning."

To that, Terri adds: "It is weird to think of your dad being a grandpa".

Terri and her children have dedicated their lives to carrying on the late Steve Irwin's wildlife warrior legacy.

They jumped on the phone to catch up with SMARTDaily ahead of season three of their hit global television show, Crikey! It's The Irwins, launching on Foxtel's Animal Planet later this week.

The Irwins in real life are just as enthusiastic and full of excited energy as they appear on screen.

It will be a jam-packed season. Bindi's new marriage and pregnancy will feature heavily alongside the traditional stories of the goings-on behind the scenes at Australia Zoo.

"Bindi and Chandler are going along with animals, so she is about the size of a platypus," Terri says of her yet-to-be-born granddaughter.

Robert Irwin with a Sumatran Tiger cub at Australia Zoo. Picture: supplied
Robert Irwin with a Sumatran Tiger cub at Australia Zoo. Picture: supplied

The show will also feature the work they do at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, as well as, of course, the day-to-day running of the facility and the introduction of new animals, including four rescued Sumatran elephants.

Chandler will step in for Robert in the legendary croc show, while he and Chandler study coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.

"It is a balance, for sure," Robert says of the delicate issues affecting the environment. "On one hand, we really do need to start to really share that message that this is our only opportunity and our last chance is right now. What we do now in this generation is what is going to tip the balance for the years and years to come. The future really rests in our hands. It is important for people to face the real truth."

Terri adds: "It seems the argument is not around whether or not there is such a thing as climate change because you can't really argue the statistics with the records of global warming and emissions and what is going on with the world. As glaciers melt, you can't say that didn't happen. Where the argument is, is what is causing it. Some say it is a natural rhythm for earth and it is not if you look at the statistics. The numbers are terrifying compared to the natural cycle of the earth. Whether or not you want to admit it, it is really happening."

Robert and Terri Irwin say they are hugely excited for the arrival of Bindi and Chandler’s first baby. Picture: supplied
Robert and Terri Irwin say they are hugely excited for the arrival of Bindi and Chandler’s first baby. Picture: supplied

Like the rest of the world, the global pandemic has made its impact felt at Australia Zoo, which was forced to close for 78 days last year. Meanwhile, the animals needed to be looked after.

"Tragedy gives opportunity for being better prepared," Terri explains. "That is what we are doing, gearing up for being light on our feet because now going forward … I think our new normal is learning to be light on our feet to control the virus. So whether borders are going to open or close, we have to be able to move and change with the way things are happening.

"We have been very blessed that the animals are still thriving and our team are still here. As a family, I was so proud of Robert and Bindi and Chandler really stepping up during our darkest hour."

Robert points out that Australia Zoo, in Queensland, is "a lot more than just a zoo". "The zoo itself is massive and employs 400 odd people and it is a huge entity that supports our local area as well. On top of that we have got all of our conservation work as well."

Crikey! It's The Irwins, premieres on Foxtel's Animal Planet, Saturday, 6.30pm.

Originally published as Terri Irwin reveals plans for Bindi's baby arrival


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