News

Robert's taking on Clive in the battle of the dinosaurs

Robert Irwin turns 9 and receives a 13 meter croc as his birthday gift.
Robert Irwin turns 9 and receives a 13 meter croc as his birthday gift. john mccutcheon

BINDI Irwin reckons her dad Steve would have had "a lot of fun" trying to catch the monster croc unveiled at Australia Zoo yesterday.

Given the zoo's new addition is 13 metres long and weighs five tonnes, even the legendary Crocodile Hunter would have had his hands full with it.

The sarcosuchus imperator (a prehistoric crocodile) was given to Robert Irwin for his ninth birthday on what the youngster referred to as "the funnest day ever".

Filled with as much energy as his father had, Robert's eyes lit up as his mother Terri pulled back the sheet of his gigantic new toy.

"Well, I actually have got a lot of presents, but I think this is definitely the best," he said. "I tried to get a glimpse of it yesterday but security wouldn't let me in."

With the youngster joking about filling Australia Zoo with dinosaurs, mum Terri said they may be inclined give one Coast identity a run for his money.

"I think we'll just make Clive Palmer utterly jealous," she said.

"You can just see him saying, 'Oh, I don't have a sarcosuchus'."

Australia Zoo artist Cameron Chapman spent five weeks constructing the beast and said the project had its moments.

"You have to work to the speed of the concrete," he said. "If it goes off, you've got to carve it and get it done that way."

The monster croc is incredibly detailed and Terri said she was blown away by Mr Chapman's determination and vision.

"I just can't believe Cameron could build it," she said.

"We'd appreciate in any vision of Cameron, that you fuzz him out so Disney doesn't steal him."

Other highlights of Robert's birthday celebrations included mechanical dinosaurs roaming around the park with palaeontologist and fossil displays.

Pulling at the massive teeth as he stood inside the giant croc's mouth, Robert said he looked forward to aging gracefully.

"Mum said that I'm starting to get grey hairs."

Topics:  australia zoo bindi irwin crocodile robert irwin steve irwin terri irwin



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