Famous conservationist Steve Irwin’s widow, Terri, has sent a legal notice to the Kerala government for using his name for a crocodile park at Neyyar dam, 30 km south of Thiruvananthapuram.
The park named after Steve, popularly known as the ‘croc hunter’, opened in May 2007.
Terri’s notice, faxed a couple of days ago, demanded that the government stop using Steve’s name and likeness at the park. The state forest department is in a quandary, and has referred the matter to the state advocate-general to see if the notice is genuine.
“The veracity of the notice is being checked,” Chief Conservator of Forests KP Ouseph said.The Steve Irwin Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre is spread over two-and-a-half hectares.
A metallic plaque of Steve holding a baby crocodile welcomes visitors.
Steve died in September 2006 after he was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
“We announced the setting up of the park within a week of his death. We even invited Terri to the opening. No objection was raised then,” Forest Minister Binoy Viswam said.