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Terri Irwin's worst nightmare: Robert tells mum ‘I quit!’

With her daughter ready to give birth, the Irwin matriarch is turning to her son for help – but he’s eyeing off a different path.

By Woman's Day team
Ever since Bindi Irwin was born, 
Terri Irwin assumed her daughter's destiny would be to help her parents run Australia Zoo.
But as with all best-laid plans, life – and, tragically, death – has got in the way of Terri's grand vision.
At the age of 56, and a widow after the terrible loss of her husband Steve in 2006, the mum-of-two had been secretly hoping she could start slowing down and pass the animal rescue reins to her 22-year-old daughter – especially since it's been 
a rough year financially and emotionally due to the pandemic shutting the business' doors for more than two months and curtailing visits from overseas tourists.
But with Bindi marrying and falling pregnant in quick succession last year, Terri's staring down the barrel of her offsider going on a year-long maternity 
leave.
Bindi will be out of action to care for her baby. (Instagram)
Luckily for Terri, there's still 
another Irwin heir who can help – or so 
she thought.
Insiders say her son Robert, 17, is "pulling against" being as involved in the zoo's future as his sister, and is instead dreaming of branching out on his own.
Instead of working full-time at the zoo, Robert would rather develop his guitar skills. (Instagram)
"He always expected the zoo to mainly be Bindi's thing, and lately he's been thinking about his other options," says a source.
"Terri would never stop Robert chasing 
his dreams, but privately she must feel that his coming of age couldn't be happening
at a worse time for her."
In recent weeks, Robert has been strongly hinting he's ready to fly the nest.
Artistic flair: He's also taken up painting. (Instagram)
"2020. What can I say. You've been weird... you've bought some of the most difficult challenges & devastating losses, but also the most unforgettable milestones and beautiful, life changing moments," he wrote on social media, listing learning guitar and painting as ways he's found solace.
"Having time to stop and take stock, Robert realised there's so much more out there," says the insider.
"He's a very creative 
soul and finds more joy in photography and art than he does hanging out for hours in the wildlife rescue surgery like Bindi does.
Terri is hoping Robert sticks around to help her (Getty)
"They are close but they are also chalk and cheese. Bindi belongs 
in the zoo helping her mum continue Steve's legacy, but there's a realisation that Robert may not."
"Terri is hoping like heck he sticks around for a couple more years while Bindi's raising her baby, just to give her a little help."
"If Robert pursues his art, Terri's in huge trouble – but she's also wary of making him stay because doing that could drive him away even more. Sadly for her, deep down, she suspects the day he says 'I quit,' is not too far away."
"If Robert pursues his art, Terri's in huge trouble." (Instagram)

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