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    Is Bindi Irwin, 16, Really Dating a 24-Year-Old Zookeeper?

    Bindi Irwin, Luke Reavley Splash News

    It's been less than a month since Bindi Irwin celebrated her sweet 16, but is the daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin already dating a much older man?

    Speculation has been running rampant that the Australian teen has coupled up with 24-year-old Luke Reavley, who is the family's personal assisant, and, according to his Facebook page, works at the Australian Zoo.

    But is Bindi really dating someone who's eight years her senior?

    That would be a no. "Luke Reavley is the Irwin Family's Executive Assistant and his relationship with the family started nine years ago when he gained employment at Australia Zoo," a rep for the Irwin family tells E! News. "He is a dear family friend, but not Bindi's boyfriend. Bindi doesn't actually have a boyfriend."

    VIDEO: Bindi Irwin opens up about losing her father

    Rumor debunked!

    The two were most recently spotted enjoying a relaxing afternoon at Byron Bay, where they were seen shopping and chowing down on burgers and milkshakes. The handsome Brit and the budding actress also have plenty of cute pics together posted on their respective Instagram accounts, and clearly, the pair shares a mutual love of animals.

    The Australian website Woman's Day was first to claim that things have turned romantic between the two pals, alleging that the pair has fallen head over heels for each other.

    Despite the false romance reports, there's no doubt that the pals are super-close and obviously enjoy spending time together.

    NEWS: Bindi Irwin criticizes young girls who dress too sexy

    Bindi Irwin Instagram Instagram

    "Wishing @lukasthegreat a very happy birthday...it was yesterday...but we were all celebrating and I forgot to let everyone know here on Instagram! So happy birthday and thank you for being the greatest friend. #BlissfulAfternoons Have fun and see you soon!" the 16-year-old beauty captioned an adorable pic with her pal.

    Bindi Irwin Instagram Instagram

    And of course, Reavley reciprocated the love when Bindi rang in the big 1-6 just a few weeks later.

    "Happy Birthday to one of the greatest friends! I hope you have an amazing day and can't wait to see what the next year brings for you! @bindisueirwin," he wrote as the caption to a cute selfie of the twosome. 

    The wildlife warrior even took the time to respond to her BFF's post, letting Luke know how grateful she is for their friendship.

    "@lukasthegreat I totally missed this!! Thank you so much blessed to have you in my life, you are truly one of my best friends ever x," she replied.

    PHOTOS: Check out pics from Bindi's birthday bash!

    Bindi Irwin, Terri Irwin, Robert Irwin Splash News

    Back in December, Bindi was romantically linked to Bailey "Buzz" Lancaster, her "best friend," with whom she also shared a series of adorable Instagram snaps (sensing a pattern?).

    Following her milestone birthday, which, naturally, was celebrated with a jungle-themed bash at the Australian Zoo, Irwin took to the photo-sharing site to pen a sentimental post dedicated to her late father.

    "Well...it's official! I am 16 today, and so excited to begin the new chapter of my life. I am forever grateful for the love and support of my beautiful family," she wrote. "Dad—I wish you could be here today, I miss you. I love you so much. As I turn 16 today, there is a fire in my heart and I embrace the adventures yet to come. With the love of my family, together we will be able to undertake and accomplish anything."

    —Additional reporting by Michelle Falls

    PHOTOS: Bindi Irwin's grown-up style

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