Bob vs Bindi feud: Inside the private Facebook group for Bob Irwin's supporters

Bob vs Bindi feud: Inside the private Facebook group for Bob Irwin's supporters
Bob vs Bindi feud: Inside the private Facebook group for Bob Irwin's supporters

Supporters of embattled Australia Zoo founder Bob Irwin Snr are rallying behind the family patriarch amid his feud with daughter-in-law Terri and granddaughter Bindi.

Friends, including former Australia Zoo staff, have created a secret Facebook group called 'Bob's Army' to counter the narrative that Bob, 82, is a 'crazy old fool' who only fell out with his grandchildren because of his stubbornness.

They are using the group to share positive stories about Bob, who was this week accused by his granddaughter Bindi, 22, of 'ignoring' her since she was a child.

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Rallying behind him: Inside the private Facebook group 'Bob's Army' where supporters of the 82-year-old Irwin patriarch (right) - including former Australia Zoo staff like Brett Mostyn (left) - are defending him against granddaughter Bindi's public broadsides

Rallying behind him: Inside the private Facebook group 'Bob's Army' where supporters of the 82-year-old Irwin patriarch (right) - including former Australia Zoo staff like Brett Mostyn (left) - are defending him against granddaughter Bindi's public broadsides

'Bob's Army' was set up by former Australia Zoo bird and crocodile keeper Brett Mostyn, 54, who told The Daily Telegraph: 'The reason we came together and made some noise is that we heard the grandkids thought Bob was a crazy old fool.

'He is one of the best grandfathers someone could wish for. We just want them [Bindi and Robert Jnr] to see that their grandfather is one very beautiful man.'

Brian Coulter, the late Steve Irwin's head 'croc keeper', also said Bob Snr was a father figure to many, and was always willing to mentor young staff at the zoo.

Support: Former Australia Zoo bird and crocodile keeper Brett Mostyn said: 'The reason we came together and made some noise is that we heard the grandkids thought Bob was a crazy old fool

Support: Former Australia Zoo crocodile keeper Brett Mostyn, 54, said: 'The reason we came together and made some noise is we heard the grandkids thought Bob was a crazy old fool'

'Bob was always like a father figure. He took us under his wing and mentored us and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and the way he treated us and shared his knowledge,' added Coulter, who was with Steve when he was killed by a stingray barb in Far North Queensland in 2006.

Since the Facebook group was founded, there have been 'hundreds of comments' posted in support of Bob Snr, reports The Daily Telegraph.

One woman, who worked at Australia Zoo for six years, was particularly upset by Bindi's claim her grandfather had 'never said a kind word' to her.

She described Bob as a 'kind, generous, honesty and gentle man,' adding: 'I have never heard a bad word come out of his mouth.'

Speaking out: 'Bob was always like a father figure. He took us under his wing and mentored us and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and the way he treated us and shared his knowledge,' said Brian Coulter (right), the late Steve Irwin's head 'croc keeper'

Speaking out: 'Bob was always like a father figure. He took us under his wing and mentored us and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and the way he treated us and shared his knowledge,' said Brian Coulter (right), the late Steve Irwin's head 'croc keeper'

Divide: Since the Facebook group was founded, there have been 'hundreds of comments' in support of Bob Snr. One woman, who worked at Australia Zoo for six years, was particularly upset by Bindi's (pictured) claim her grandfather had 'never said a kind word' to her

Divide: Since the Facebook group was founded, there have been 'hundreds of comments' in support of Bob Snr. One woman, who worked at Australia Zoo for six years, was particularly upset by Bindi's (pictured) claim her grandfather had 'never said a kind word' to her

The Irwin family feud began 13 years ago when Bob Snr quit Australia Zoo because he was concerned the wildlife park he'd founded in 1970 was becoming a 'circus'.

The story of Bob's controversial departure from the family business resurfaced this week after he was fiercely criticised by his granddaughter Bindi, who accused him in a Facebook post on Sunday of 'ignoring' her since she was child.

Various reports from the time of Bob's exit from Australia Zoo claim he was worried the Sunshine Coast tourist attraction was becoming 'too commercial' - and even feared a then nine-year-old Bindi was being pushed into child stardom.

Dispute: The Irwin family feud began 13 years ago when Bob Snr quit Australia Zoo because he was concerned the wildlife park he'd founded in 1970 was becoming a 'circus'. Pictured: Terri Irwin with her children, Bindi and Robert, alongside Bob Irwin Snr (right) at a memorial for the late Steve Irwin at Australia Zoo in Queensland on September 20, 2006

Dispute: The Irwin family feud began 13 years ago when Bob Snr quit Australia Zoo because he was concerned the wildlife park he'd founded in 1970 was becoming a 'circus'. Pictured: Terri Irwin with her children, Bindi and Robert, alongside Bob Irwin Snr (right) at a memorial for the late Steve Irwin at Australia Zoo in Queensland on September 20, 2006

When Bob left the zoo for good in 2008 - two years after the death of his famous son, Steve 'The Crocodile Hunter' Irwin - his daughter-in-law Terri was said to be planning a five-year expansion 'to make it Australia's peak tourist destination with a Disneyland feel'.

This plan apparently didn't sit well with Bob, who felt Australia Zoo should focus on conservation instead of following a commercial path and becoming a 'circus'.

By his own admission, Bob felt he'd become an unwelcome presence at Australia Zoo as the business grew into a major attraction aimed at American tourists.

Rift: The story of Bob's controversial departure from the family business resurfaced this week after he was fiercely criticised by his granddaughter Bindi, 22, who accused the 82-year-old in a Facebook post on Sunday of 'ignoring' her since she was child. Pictured: Terri, Robert Jnr, Bindi and Bob Snr next to a statue of the Irwin family at Australia Zoo on November 15, 2007

Rift: The story of Bob's controversial departure from the family business resurfaced this week after he was fiercely criticised by his granddaughter Bindi, 22, who accused the 82-year-old in a Facebook post on Sunday of 'ignoring' her since she was child. Pictured: Terri, Robert Jnr, Bindi and Bob Snr next to a statue of the Irwin family at Australia Zoo on November 15, 2007

'It's a strange feeling to spend half your lifetime building something up and walking away from it,' he told ABC's Australian Story in April 2008.

'I was becoming a disrupting influence, not that I meant to be.'

Tellingly, when he resigned from the family business in 2008, he made no reference in his farewell statement to his daughter-in-law. 

He also said he wanted to 'continue Steve's dream' of wildlife conservation at his own reserve in Kingaroy - with the implication being Terri's new vision for Australia Zoo wasn't what his son would have wanted.

Reports: Reports from the time of Bob's exit from Australia Zoo claim he was worried the Sunshine Coast tourist attraction was becoming 'too commercial' - and even feared a then nine-year-old Bindi was being pushed into child stardom. Pictured: Bob Snr on October 25, 2016

Reports: Various reports from the time of Bob's exit from Australia Zoo claim he was worried the tourist attraction was becoming 'too commercial' - and even feared a then nine-year-old Bindi was being

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