We had the pleasure of meeting 3 extraordinary individuals and Australia’s favourite wildlife conservationists Terri, Bindi, and Robert Irwin at an exclusive wildlife session held at Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia last Friday. Bindi made her way to Malaysia to continue her father’s – the legendary late Steve Irwin – legacy and passion for wildlife conservation.
We sat down with little Robert and young Bindi for an interview after the Discovery Kids press conference and they shared with us their thoughts on animal poaching and their favourite animals.
Hi Bindi, hi Robert! Welcome to Malaysia. How has your day been so far?
Bindi: “Very good! And we get to talk to you!”
Robert: “We actually arrived yesterday – last night, we arrived here. We haven’t been here for very long and it’s actually our first time but we’re already loving it here. We love the people. The people here are lovely! We haven’t tried many local foods yet but we’re hoping to try some local food. Maybe we could try the durian?”
Bindi: “Robert’s all for it but I’m slightly nervous because I hear mixed reviews like, you either love it or hate it. Maybe I’ll hold my breath when I eat it? (laughs)”
What else are you two loving about Malaysia?
Robert: “We especially like it here because Malaysia has not only the city but also a lot of rain forest habitat as well. I heard that there’s like 50% nature in the area so that’s really cool.”
Bindi: “And you have King Cobras here? We love King Cobras! That’s one of my favourite snakes.”
We also have orang utans here. Have you seen one?
Bindi: “Yes, I have! Aren’t they beautiful? They’re like people! If they were people, they’d look like really old, grumpy men. They’re so cute!”
Robert: “They’re so curious and they’re really intelligent. They just wanna come up to you and explore you and see what you’re doing. It’s so funny.”
Tell us, and we know that when wildlife is concerned, this is a serious problem. What are your thoughts on animal poaching?
Bindi: “Yeah, it’s hard. We find that all over the world though – the black market just seems to be growing, which is really sad. We always tell people that the greatest thing they can do for wildlife is not to purchase wildlife products. You’ll never get the world to be vegetarian, I mean, we eat meat but those animals can be responsibly farmed. Whereas wildlife such as tigers, kangaroos, crocodiles, they can’t be farmed. If we continue to consume them..that destroys wildlife population.”
They do sell kangaroo meat in Australia, don’t they?
Bindi: “They do. Hunting kangaroos is allowed in Australia. It’s awful because often, these roo shooters will go out to kill the kangaroos but a lot of times, they’re drunk, so they’ll shoot their bottom jaws off or leave their babies on the sides of the roads. So we have a conservation property filled with kangaroos and a lot of these kangaroos are dying because they can’t eat or their legs have been run over and we have to put them down. And it’s so sad. People don’t understand what goes on behind the scenes.”
Amongst all the animals that you’ve seen, which ones are your favourites? And why?
Bindi: “It’s so hard to choose. I want to say all of them.”
Robert: “Probably my favourite animal – and it’s cool because I’ve had the opportunity to experience them – would be crocodiles. I love crocodiles so much and that was also my Dad’s favourite animal. Every year, around August or September, we go to the conservation property that we have called the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve. We go and catch crocodiles and research them so that we can see what they get up to, what they’re doing, or where they go. To catch the crocodiles, you actually have to physically hold them down. There are some other ways to catch them, by using sedatives, but it’s not good for them like they might not completely wake up when the sedatives wear off because the crocodile’s metabolism can’t handle it. So what we do is that we jump on the crocodiles and hold them down, and then we put ropes on them and make sure that they’re restrained before attaching tracking devices on them. There are two types of trackers; the acoustic tracker which can track the crocodile wherever it goes through the river system, and then there’s the satellite tracker which can track the crocodile wherever it goes in the world!”
Bindi: “Do you know that a crocodile’s breath doesn’t have an odour? When you pin them down, they would often exhale but it doesn’t have an odour. It’s amazing! And they have chubby legs, and really soft feet. And the babies make this gorgeous noise..”
Robert: “Yeah! It’s kinda like this squeaky..(mimics baby crocodile noise)”
Aww. Aren’t the Irwins the cutest? Thank you Bindi and Robert for speaking to us. Don’t stay away for too long now, come back and visit Malaysia again soon.
And thank you, Discovery Kids for organizing the interview.
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For more pictures from our day out with the Irwins, click!
“Bindi’s Bootcamp: Reboot” currently airs on Discovery Kids (HyppTV CH 561), every Monday at 10:30am. Encores are on the same day at 4:30pm and 8:00pm. “Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors” airs weekday at 8:00pm beginning 10th July 2013 (Wednesday).