Australia Zoo in Talks over Las Vegas Crocodile Oasis
An Animal Rights Article from


Carly Crawford,
October 2009

Croc hunter Steve Irwin's dream of opening an Aussie zoo in Las Vegas is to be realized, three years after his death.

Nevada officials say plans for an Australian-themed zoo in the desert gaming mecca are back on the agenda, The Courier-Mail reports.

crocodile abuse
Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm in Bangkok

Representatives for the Irwins met Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman last week to discuss resurrecting their proposal for a US Australia Zoo featuring crocodile wrestling.

"It looks like a great project with a crocodile-type enclosure where they would wrestle with the crocodiles and feed the crocodiles and have a real educational component to it and we're going to continue those discussions," Mr Goodman said at the weekend.

Steve Irwin first floated the idea of a $40 million Las Vegas zoo showcasing Australian wildlife, including his famed croc show, in January 2004.

The concept was shelved nine months later as the Irwins instead focused on expanding their Sunshine Coast zoo.

The zoo, slated for downtown Vegas, would be stocked with native Australian animals and could be built alongside a new children's hospital.

"I'm trying to marry the two of them together because I think it would be great to have the crocodile zoo, so to speak, next to a children's hospital where children have to be cheered up," Mr Goodman said.

"The zoo would be a limited zoo. It's an Australian zoo . . . we're just going to have wombats and platypuses and koalas and crocodiles.

"I'm a big crocodile fan. I love crocodiles. So it's my kind of zoo."

Irwin achieved a huge profile in the US before his shock death in September 2006 when a stingray barb struck him in the chest.

Australia Zoo grew out of the Beerwah Reptile Park in Queensland developed by Irwin's parents in the early 1970s.

The multimillion-dollar park is one of Queensland's leading tourist attractions and the Irwin legacy is being carried on by his widow Terri and children Bindi, 11, and Bob, 5.

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