Steve Irwin’s older sister Joy has broken her silence years after leaving Australia Zoo -revealing she is also estranged from her brother’s wife and children.
Joy Muscillo and her family were once heavily involved in the running of the world famous attraction.
She oversaw the food court and her husband Frank was the general manager.
But in 2016 Frank was reportedly walked out of the Zoo by Terri Irwin, with Joy and her adult children leaving soon afterwards.
The walkout came eight years after after Steve’s father Bob Snr and founder of the iconic wildlife sanctuary abruptly quit the business in 2008.
Bob Snr has been estranged from the Terri and his grandchildren ever since, recently lamenting that he had not been invited to Bindi’s upcoming wedding.
Speaking to the Daily Mail Australia outside of Bob Snr’s secluded property at Kingaroy in southern Queensland, Ms Muscillo said the rift was a ‘very sad’ situation.
‘I keep away from all that,’ she said. ‘It’s just very sad… family stuff.’
Joy Muscillo, the sister of Steve Irwin, has revealed she is no longer in contact with her famous relatives
Mrs Muscillo left the zoo after her husband Frank, who had been working there as general manager for years, was ‘walked off the property’ by Terri Irwin
Mrs Muscillo said the split in the family was a ‘very sad’ situation, but she did not want to speak about the reasons behind it
Mrs Muscillo, who now runs a restaurant with her husband, leads a quiet life a world away from the glitz and glamour of her sister-in-law, niece and nephew.
After leaving the zoo, she said she was bound to a confidentiality agreement that prevented her from speaking about what had happened.
While the agreement has expired, she says it remains a ‘personal decision’ to keep her family dramas private.
Mrs Muscillo spoke to Daily Mail Australia briefly on her way to visit Bob Snr, who locals say has virtually become ‘a recluse’ in recent years.
He now lives in a secluded 260ha property called Camp Chilli bordering a national park and set back from a chained-up gate with signs ordering people to stay away.
Many locals have no idea where he lives, or that he lives there at all.
‘He’s quiet [when I see him], just goes about his business and leaves,’ one woman who asked not to be named said.
‘I think he just wants to be left alone.’
Steve Irwin was said to have been very close with his family, and inherited his passion for wildlife from his father Bob (left)
After leaving Australia Zoo in 2008 following a reported dispute with Terri Irwin over the direction of the company, he bought a secluded property near Kingaroy in Queensland
The property is surrounded by bushland and far off any main roads, and the entrance is littered with signs warning against trespassing and highlighting there is ‘restricted access’
The Irwin family divide began after Steve’s death in 2006, though Joy’s husband wasn’t turfed out until 2016 (From left: Steve, Joy, Lyn, Bob and Mandy)
The property was purchased so Mr Irwin could continue his conservation work away from Australia Zoo
Bob Snr opened the Beerwah Reptile Park on June 3, 1970, with his late wife Lyn.
The pair started on just four acres of land, and lived in a caravan until Mr Irwin built the young family a home on the property.
When Steve and Terri were married, the park was handed over to them, but Bob Snr remained involved.
He left in 2008 after he and Terri Irwin reportedly feuded over the direction of the zoo in the wake of Steve’s tragic death, and has not spoken to Terri, Bindi or Bob since.
When Bindi became engaged, he revealed he had not yet been invited to the wedding, and did not expect to be, but had written a loving letter to his granddaughter expressing his support and best wishes.
In his book, The Last Crocodile Hunter, Mr Irwin said he ‘will always feel proud standing on the sidelines and watching them succeed at whatever path they choose to follow’.
Mr Irwin also claims in the book that the last time he saw Steve, the man was feeling worn out from his increasing stardom, and was ready to pack it in.
Bob Irwin opened the Beerwah Reptile Park in June 1970 with his late wife Lyn
Mr Irwin now lives on the property with his second wife, Judy (pictured locking the front gate)
He earlier revealed he had not been in contact with Bindi for years, and that he wasn’t yet invited to the wedding, but wished the young couple well
He claims the Crocodile Hunter told him: ‘I want to cut back on the filming, on all of it. I want to spend more time getting Bindi into it and being home.’
‘I didn’t get much involved in that side of things; Steve kept me pretty protected from all of that because he knew being in the public eye was never my thing,’ he wrote.
‘But Steve told me that he was facing an almost endless series of television projects in the months ahead.
‘He was due to leave the bush to work on several big television specials and fly to the US to promote his shows.
‘It was an unrelenting schedule which he told me he had little enthusiasm for despite the fact that he was aware of what it enabled him to do for the conservation side of things and spreading his message.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Australia Zoo for comment.
Mr Irwin also claimed in his book the last time he spoke with his son, Steve was considering dialling back his filming commitments to spend more time working with animals and raising his young children