Bob Irwin has retired from The Bob Irwin Wildlife Foundation.
Bob Irwin has retired from The Bob Irwin Wildlife Foundation. CONTRIBUTED

Bob Irwin retires after 'beginning to feel his age'

JUST weeks after celebrating his 79th birthday, passionate conservationist Bob Irwin has announced his retirement.

The Bob Irwin Wildlife Foundation today said its namesake would "pass on the baton" as of July and enjoy his retirement.

"Rest assured that while he is beginning to feel his age, he is well and in good spirits," a statement read.

"While wildlife and conservation will always remain Bob's driving force, he will no longer be making public appearances on behalf of the Bob Irwin Wildlife & Conservation Foundation."

Bob began the Beerwah Reptile Park in 1970 as a place to rehabilitate animals which was enlarged by his son Steve and renamed Australia Zoo.

After leaving Australia Zoo in 2008, Bob formed a close relationship with Wildlife HQ at the Big Pineapple where he would give talks.

The foundation went on to say they would "suspend operations" for the foreseeable future as running "a charitable environmental association, while understandably necessary, is currently beyond the capacity of our small voluntary team".

No donations will be accepted from June 30 and all existing funds will go to wildlife rehabilitation and conservation groups Bob has worked with.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, financial or otherwise," the statement said.

"We have been so inspired watching people from all over the world cultivate and grow a love of the natural environment, and then applying that passion to protect and conserve wildlife and ecosystems.

"Bob is optimistic about the future of our planet because of your dedication to conserving our incredible wildlife and its habitats."