On March 6th, SeaWorld Parks announced that the Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late Steve Irwin “Crocodile Hunter” would become SeaWorld’s first Youth Ambassador. Bindy will world with SeaWorld Kids and Generation Nature, two different programs designed to inspire kids of all ages to take action where they live to conserve and preserve the natural world.
Shortly after the announcement, there was an online firestorm by Animal Rights activists who denounced her supporting SeaWorld. MiceChat was able to sit down and talk to Bindi Irwin about these new initiatives, and why she has chosen to support SeaWorld.
MiceChat: Bindi please tell us a little bit more about Generation Nature and what is it, and what your hopes are for it?
Bindi Irwin: Absolutely! Well I’ve joined forces with SeaWorld which is really exciting and we’re working on such great projects for kids. And in particular Generation Nature, and Generation Nature is all about inspiring kids to make a difference in the world, to become game changers for wildlife and wild places. So kids can go to GenerationNature.com and every month I’ll be coming through on the website with a new webisode so I’ll be talking about a new animal every single month.
For example, this month it’s sea turtles. And I’ll be talking about how wonderful sea turtles are. And then giving kids a call to action, giving them advice on what they can do to help protect sea turtles. For example, kids can go have a cleanup day in their backyard. Or invite all their friends to gather round and go to the beach and have a cleanup day. You find the most crazy things on the beach that are just trash that ends up on the beach. We also want kids to send in their own ideas, send in their pictures and videos of what they’ve been doing at home to help protect wildlife. And you know I’m just really thrilled about the entire project because it’s kind of getting kids to use their voice, to stand up for what they know is right, and to protect wildlife and wild places.
MiceChat: What are some of the ways you will be encouraging children to take action at home?
Bindi Irwin: There’s so much that you can do! It’s as simple as turning off the light when you leave the room, recycling, using reusable water bottles. You know how we throw away all of our water bottles after one use? Why not get a good water bottle and keep filling it up? You know, it’s all of these fantastic ideas that kids can take away and do for themselves. The other great part is that I hope to encourage kids to talk about these issues, talk about Generation Nature and how they can make a change with their friends, so getting their friends on board and showing them what they can do, to become a teacher and to be able to teach others about how important it is to protect Planet Earth.
MiceChat: What challenges do you think kids face when acting for conservation and getting their voice out there?
Bindi Irwin: I think for a lot of kids, sometimes it’s that feeling of “I’m only one person.” I’m not sure if you’re ever felt this, but sometimes when you’re looking at all of these different issues facing the world today you think “I’m one person, how can I help polar bears or how can I help penguins?” and you think “What can I do” because you might live in the middle of New York City or in the Outback of Australia and so it’s being able to say to kids, well even if you don’t live in the exact area where these animals live you can still make a big difference though speaking up and telling other people about how they can help.
Through your actions, every single day, your footprint that you leave on Planet Earth, being able to even talk to your parents, to be able to say to your parents “let’s carpool to school or work today” so that way we all get in the same car and save on fuel, and it’s these fantastic ideas that will change the world. And you know if we all work together, we can make a difference.
My dad, Steve Irwin, he was one man who changed the world. And if one man can make a difference, you can make a difference too. So that’s what I think a lot of kids face is that “I’m one person, how can I change the world?” You can, you just have to believe in yourself, you have to follow your passion and never give up. Because together, we can truly make positive change, which is so exciting.
MiceChat: Steve Irwin was one of our heroes growing up, we all watched what he did, and now you’re lighting the path for kids in a way for conservation, and they look up to you. They’re so thankful to you and to your whole family for what you’ve done to protect the ecology of our world.
Bindi Irwin: You’re making a difference on Planet Earth as well, and it’s so inspiring to be able to talk to you! And it’s true that we have to start acting now, because you know it’s like every time we lose an animal species, it’s like losing a brick from the house. Pretty soon the house just falls down. So together we have to work to protect our planet. And you know it’s just as simple as being passionate about your favorite animal. It’s just as simple as talking to your friends about how they can help. And together as a family, I know my mom and my little brother Robert whose 10 years old, we’re so thrilled about bringing the message of conservation and about loving wildlife and wild places to as many people as possible. So no matter where you live, or what you do, you can and you will change the world. So be that change you wish to see in the world, and that’s why I’m so proud of you for everything that you’re doing! Well done!
MiceChat: One final question, for those people who aren’t nessescarily sure what role the Australia Zoo or SeaWorld might play in worldwide animal conservation, what would you describe their role as?
Bindi Irwin: Well I would say together as a team we do two things. The first is to inspire as many people as possible to love wildlife and wild places, that’s number 1. To be able to inspire people from across the planet, to empower kids, to empower adults, to want to change the world for themselves, and to fall in love with wildlife, that’s the number 1 goal.
And then also, we have conservation projects all over the planet. So for us at Wildlife Warriors we work with koalas and sea turtles and tigers and elephants and same here with SeaWorld, I mean they have projects working with cheetah outreach in Africa, and they have projects working with elephants and marine life like you couldn’t imainge! So we have all of these different conservation projects, rescuing so many different animals out there and releasing them into the wild, and you know it’s so important to protect not only the species but the individual animals, and so that’s what we’re all about. So those two things. Inspiring people and conservation projects all across the planet. And encouraging people to get involved because you can make a difference too. You can join us in the fight to protect wildlife and wild places and create that positive change because that’s so exciting. And these are brilliant efforts and something that I am truly passionate about. It’s wonderful. I hope you get a chance to check out Generation Nature.com and thank you for loving wildlife, all the best, you’re gonna change the world!
We want to thank Bindi Irwin for sitting down with us here at MiceChat to discuss SeaWorld Kids and Generation Nature. The next episode will have the entire interview, along with some other great surprises for SeaWorld’s 50th Anniversary!
Now we invite you to sit back relax and enjoy the latest episode of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast with your hosts Eric, Mike and Erin as they take you on a journey to Antarctica with Frank Todd, the man who brought Emperor Penguins to the world!