Raffles has long been a fan of The Crocodile Hunter, and counts the late Steve Irwin as one of his idols. My wannabe Wildlife Warrior is just as enamored with Steve’s multi-talented daughter, Bindi Irwin, so when the opportunity to interview the Australian actress, singer, television presenter and passionate conservationist came along, it was one Raffles simply couldn’t pass up!
From schooling on the road to whether Raffles could out eat an elephant (my money’s on my boy), turns out that my animal loving and the lovely Bindi had a lot to chat about…
What is it like to live in a zoo?
I feel so very blessed to live at Australia Zoo, every day bring a new and different adventure. I have the most incredible backyard on planet earth and I’m able to share it with people who visit from around the world. We are one big family here at the zoo, trying to inspire others to get involved and want to make a difference in our world.
It must be awesome to hang out with all the animals at Australia Zoo, which animal do you think is the most fascinating?
I love crocodiles because they are like modern day dinosaurs with so many secrets. They’ve been on the planet for millions of years and have learned to the true art of survival. However, I must admit that echidnas have a special place in my heart as well. Echidnas are my favourite animals. They are monotremes, which means that they’re egg-laying mammals and there are only two monotremes in the world, one is the echidna and the second is the platypus. So they are super unique little creatures.
I like them too, I saw one in the wild once and it was really cute.
My mum says I eat more than a herd of elephants. How much does an elephant actually eat?
Well, you might eat a lot, which is brilliant, but I’m not sure if you could quite manage the same 200kgs every day that elephants devour! Elephants love their fruit and vegies the best, so I’m sure that you can give it a good go… however, I think that these giant creatures might still win.
I think it would be close.
Your job is epic! What is the best thing about it?
Getting to spend so much time travelling the world spreading our conservation message, experiencing so many beautiful wild places and spending time with spectacular wildlife is such a blessing. I am grateful every day that I am able to follow my dreams and my heart to share my passion for conservation with others. My goal is to dedicate my life to speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves, as a Wildlife Warrior. I hope that I am able to make a difference and empower others to help the planet in their own backyards. We must work together to create a beautiful world for the generations to come.
That is so, so cool.
How do you do your schoolwork when you travel?
My little brother Robert and I both participate in Distance Education for school, which really works for us, because it’s a program that fits around our busy schedule. So, if we have something that we have to do in the zoo or if we have a filming project, school just fits around all of it. The other great thing about Distance Education is that I don’t have any homework, which means that when I’ve completed my lessons, I am finished and free! We take our school everywhere and have done work in planes, trains and cars all over the world.
Which is the most amazing place you’ve ever been to?
That is a challenging question because there are so many beautiful places in the world. To be honest I love Australia. I live in the most spectacular country on planet earth. I enjoy travelling around my own backyard! I could really explore Queensland for years and not experience everything! I think that I’m very lucky to live in such a gorgeous part of the world. Here in Queensland we have everything from the Great Barrier Reef, to Dinosaur trails, to tropical rainforests, to mountain ranges, to beaches and (most importantly, my home) Australia Zoo.
I’ll have to make my mama take me to see more of Queensland.
Your show Bindi’s Boot Camp is going to be on Netflix (from June 15) and I can’t wait to watch it because it looks completely awesome. How much fun was it to make?
Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it as much as we loved making it! Bindi’s Bootcamp was stacks of fun to create! I loved working with the contestants and introducing them to our family of animals here at Australia Zoo. It was great fun to encourage the bootcampers to test their abilities and face their fears. It is chock-a-block full of different animal challenges, some kinda gross and others really fast paced. It was such a fun project to work on because it was entirely filmed at Australia Zoo. All of the bootcampers on the show are competing against each other to become Wildlife Warriors, which made the competition between the teams even better!
Did you come up with the challenges all by yourself?
The ideas for the challenges were a team effort, we all worked together to create the best competitions possible! The best part about coming up with the ideas behind these challenges was the fact that there were so many things that we could do within the zoo! We had so many ideas flying all over the place every day, it made everything just that much more exciting for us all. Between myself, my family, the zookeepers and the film crew, every idea was carefully and brilliantly planned!
Would you actually do the Gross Island challenges?
Robert was actually a great driving force for a lot of the unbelievable challenges you will see on Gross Island! Some of the challenges include work that we do at Australia Zoo every day. For example we are always having to create yummy dishes of food for our animals like you see in a Bootcamp challenge called ‘Deadliest Dinner’. Some of the ingredients to create these meals can be gross! From squished insects to mince meat…you have to have a brave heart!
What’s your favourite TV Show to watch?
I love the television series How I Met Your Mother, and it’s nice that I can watch it any time on Netflix. But I’m also a great documentary lover as well, and most nights will see me and my family watching a documentary at home after dinner.
I like documentaries too.
What can kids like me do to help save endangered animals?
Become a Wildlife Warrior! Being a Wildlife Warrior is not just a title, it describes who you are and your attitude. There are so many things that each of us can do to help. Even small things like recycling, planting a tree, turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, going to the beach or a local park and having a clean-up day with your friends, all helps. If you would like to get even more involved, we have so many conservation programs that you can help with by becoming a Joey Ambassador for Australia Zoo’s non-profit organization Wildlife Warriors. Our Joey Ambassadors help to spread the messages about the issues facing wildlife and wild places. They also assist through fundraising to support conservation projects such as Save the Tasmanian Devil or Tiger 511. To find out more about Joey Ambassadors or our projects go to http://www.wildlifewarriors.org.au/.
Never forget that you have a voice. Even though we are young, we still have a voice and can use it. As kids we are the next voters, the next decision makers and the next generation that is going to make a difference on our planet. Be strong and always believe. If you do that, you will be able to undertake and accomplish anything.
Thanks so much for answering my questions, Bindi. You’re awesome.
Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam we have received a years subscription to Netflix, and while I will be posting regular updates about the service, and what tasty treats we scoff while we’re watching it, all opinions expressed will be our own.