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Claims Bob Irwin has ‘never visited’ son Steve’s grave at Australia Zoo

One of Bob Irwin’s close friends has made more claims about the infamous Irwin rift, which exploded on Sunday after Bindi’s bombshell Facebook comment that he had ‘ignored her’ since she was a child.

Amanda French, who co-authored Bob’s 2016 autobiography The Last Crocodile Hunter, claims the 82-year-old has said ‘nothing but great things’ about Bindi and Robert – before confirming he hasn’t seen the pair since leaving the zoo in 2008.

Amanda also said to B105’s Stav, Abby and Matt that Bob has not been able to visit his Crocodile Hunter son Steve’s grave inside Australia Zoo since the same time, a move which has been ‘hard’ for the grieving father.

Inner circle: Amanda French (right), who co-authored Bob’s (left) 2016 autobiography The Last Crocodile Hunter, said on Tuesday that the 82-year-old has said ‘nothing but great things’ about Bindi and Robert – before confirming he hasn’t seen them since leaving the zoo in 2008

‘Steve’s burial place is inside the zoo… That’s hard for him, not to be able to return to his son’s resting place. He hasn’t been back to Australia Zoo since 2008,’ she said.

In her Facebook post, Bindi had claimed that Bob had returned some of the gifts she had sent over the years.

And while Amanda claims that this is true, she gave ‘context’ as to why he decided to give back some of the gifts to the family.

‘They haven’t had a relationship since 2007 or 2008, which was the last time he saw the kids,’ she said.

‘The gifts were returned were because they were odd. I’ve been there when he’s been sent an anniversary gift for example, which was a shower cap.’

Sadness: 'Steve's burial place is inside the zoo... That's hard for him, not to be able to return to his son's resting place. He hasn't been back to Australia Zoo since 2008,’ Amanda said of Bob

Sadness: ‘Steve’s burial place is inside the zoo… That’s hard for him, not to be able to return to his son’s resting place. He hasn’t been back to Australia Zoo since 2008,’ Amanda said of Bob

Confusion: Ms French added that Bob always says positive things about Bindi and Robert, adding: 'He says they're always welcome if they ever turned up. But I think it would be hard for Bob to ring up Australia Zoo and be like - can we fix this?' Pictured from left: Robert, Terri and Bindi Irwin

Confusion: Ms French added that Bob always says positive things about Bindi and Robert, adding: ‘He says they’re always welcome if they ever turned up. But I think it would be hard for Bob to ring up Australia Zoo and be like – can we fix this?’ Pictured from left: Robert, Terri and Bindi Irwin

She added that Bob always says positive things about Bindi and Robert, adding: ‘He says they’re always welcome if they ever turned up. But I think it would be hard for Bob to ring up Australia Zoo and be like – can we fix this?’

The Irwin family feud was blasted wide open on Sunday when Bindi responded to a fan on Facebook who criticised her decision to exclude Bob from a post she’d written about ‘the fathers in [her] life’.

Bindi had uploaded a sweet post celebrating Father’s Day in the USA, saying she was thankful for the ‘three most incredible fathers in her life’: her late father Steve Irwin, her husband Chandler Powell and her father-in-law Chris.

When one fan asked why she hadn’t included her grandfather – Steve’s father, Bob – Bindi gave an uncharacteristically raw account of their relationship, claiming he’d ignored her since she was a ‘little girl’.

Speaking out: Bindi wrote, 'I really wish that my entire family could spend time with Grace. Unfortunately, my grandfather has shown no interest in spending time with me or my family'

Speaking out: Bindi wrote, ‘I really wish that my entire family could spend time with Grace. Unfortunately, my grandfather has shown no interest in spending time with me or my family’

The mother of one wrote: ‘I really wish that my entire family could spend time with Grace. Unfortunately, my grandfather Bob has shown no interest in spending time with me or my family.’

She went on to claim that Bob had ‘returned gifts I’ve sent after he opened them’, and ignored any letters sent from her.

‘From the time I was a little girl he has ignored me, preferring to spend time doing anything else rather than being with me,’ she continued.

‘He has never said a single kind word to me personally. It breaks my heart.’

Thankful: Bindi had commented on a Father's Day post celebrating the 'three most incredible fathers in her life', her late father Steve, her husband Chandler and her father-in-law Chris

Thankful: Bindi had commented on a Father’s Day post celebrating the ‘three most incredible fathers in her life’, her late father Steve, her husband Chandler and her father-in-law Chris

She went on to say that her mother Terri still writes to him and sends birthday cards and Christmas gifts, but claims they have received no reply.

‘We have also been his financial support since 1992 when he retired from Australia Zoo, sending him funds every week,’ she added.

‘We built him a house on a beautiful property and will always do our best to ensure his wellbeing.

‘I hope everyone remembers to be kind to one another but most of all care for your own mental health.

‘I have struggled with this relationship my entire life and it brings me enormous pain.’

Bindi, who welcomed her daughter Grace in March, concluded by saying she had to ‘choose to care for her own mental health now’.

Family: Bob is the father of the legendary 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin, who died in 2006. Pictured: The family in 2004

Family: Bob is the father of the legendary ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin, who died in 2006. Pictured: The family in 2004

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk