Terri Raines was born in Eugene, Oregon, USA on July 20, 1964. Her father drove heavy-haul trucks and would often bring home wildlife that had been injured on the road. This instilled in Terri a love for wildlife and a desire to help animals from a very early age.
Terri spent her childhood caring for and riding horses, and spent her summers as a young adult exploring the wilderness area in north-east Oregon on horseback. This further convinced Terri of the need to protect wildlife and conserve wild places.
At 22, Terri was running the family business, working part-time at an emergency veterinary hospital and operating a wildlife rehabilitation organisation called 'Cougar Country', rehabilitating and releasing predatory mammals such as cougars, bears and bobcats. It was not long before she was caring for more than 300 animals a year.
In 1991, during a holiday to Australia, Terri visited the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park. Terri was captivated by the enthusiastic man in the khakis talking so passionately about crocodiles, and introduced herself, realising they both had in common their passion for wildlife and conservation. This chance encounter would change their lives forever!
Steve and Terri married on June 4, 1992, in Eugene, Oregon. The wedding was a huge occasion with all of Terri's friends, family and colleagues realising they would be saying goodbye as she started her life in Australia with Steve. Terri and Steve immediately began their life together in Australia with wildlife documentary filming, an amazing zoo, and later two incredible children and a stack of adventures.
Steve and Terri's wildlife documentaries have brought Australia Zoo to the world stage and have attracted visitors from across the world to the Sunshine Coast. Steve and Terri have filmed over 300 episodes of The Crocodile Hunter, Croc Diaries, Croc Files, New Breed Vets, Ghosts of War and Bindi: The Jungle Girl, and starred in the blockbuster movie The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course. These programs are now seen by 142 countries and 500 million viewers worldwide.
In 2006, Terri was awarded an Honorary Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her ‘outstanding dedication to wildlife conservation and the tourism industry'. She was also the winner of the 2006 Ernst & Young Northern Region Social Entrepreneur of the Year, 2007 Queensland Telstra Business Women's Award, and 2011 Marie Watson-Blake Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual at the Queensland Tourism Awards.
Becoming an Australian citizen in 2009, Terri continues to be a passionate wildlife spokesperson and conservation icon around the world. She actively speaks out and supports conservation issues, including the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, a 135,000-hectare property in Cape York dedicated to Steve, threatened by strip mining for bauxite. Terri is determined to dedicate the rest of her life to Bindi, Robert and her husband's passion for conservation.
Like Steve, Terri is truly a Wildlife Warrior and will continue to work with the Australia Zoo family in managing the 100 acre, world-class, award-winning facility which is home to over 1200 animals.