Terri Irwin

Terri Irwin

Terri Raines was born in Eugene, Oregon, USA on the 20 July, 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.

At 20, Terri was running the family business, worked part-time at an emergency veterinary hospital and operated 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 each year.

During a holiday to Australia, Terri visited the ‘Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park’. She was captivated by the enthusiastic man in the khakis, talking so passionately about crocodiles. Terri 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 4 June, 1992. 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 with wildlife documentary filming, an amazing zoo, and later two incredible children, along with a stack of adventures.

Steve and Terri’s wildlife documentaries brought Australia Zoo to the world stage, attracting visitors from across the world to the Sunshine Coast. While Terri lost her soulmate Steve, she continues to be a passionate wildlife spokesperson and conservation icon. She actively speaks out and supports conservation issues around the world. Terri is determined to dedicate the rest of her life to wildlife and conservation, fulfilling Steve’s legacy with the support of Bindi and Robert.

Outstanding Achievements:


2018
  • Lead role on television series Crikey! It’s the Irwins

2015
  • Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership in Queensland
  • Honorary Doctor of Science degree from The University of Queensland, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to conservation and environmental management efforts

2014
  • Australian of the Year Award nominee
  • InStyle Australia, Women of Style Environmental Award
  • Honoured with naming of new species of spider Leichhardteus terriirwinae

2013
  • Successfully ended six-year campaign to prevent bauxite strip mining on the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve
  • Lead role in television series Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors

2009
  • Achieved Australian Citizenship

2007
  • Queensland Telstra Business Women’s Award
  • Wrote and published book My Steve

2006
  • Honorary Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “outstanding dedication to wildlife conservation and the tourism industry”
  • Ernst & Young, Northern Region Social Entrepreneur of the Year winner

2002
  • Lead role in The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
  • Established conservation charity Wildlife Warriors

1992
  • Started filming documentary series The Crocodile Hunter

1988
  • Began work at the local emergency veterinary hospital

1986
  • Started Cougar Country

1984
  • Took over the family business

1982
  • At only 18 years old, Terri bought her first house in Eugene, Oregon