Celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna diagnosed with dementia
Jack Hanna, the celebrity zookeeper and wildlife conservationist, has been diagnosed with dementia. The ex-director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium said he would be retiring from public life.
Hanna’s three children Kathaleen, Suzanne, and Julie, announced their 74-year-old dad’s diagnosis in a social media letter. According to doctors, his condition progressed much steadily than anticipated to be Alzheimer’s.
Though Jack is no longer able to travel and work like before, his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and will continue to be his legacy.
Jack Hanna, also known as “Jungle Jack,” became a widely popular wildlife expert through his work as director of the Columbus Zoo. He held the post from 1978 to 1992. He frequently made media appearances on late-night talk shows and introduced the animals he worked with to audiences.
Hanna was involved in millions of households through his media appearances and weekly television programs, including Animal Adventures, Into the wild, and wild Countdown. His frequent appearance on television helped to bring an unparalleled level of awareness to the importance of global conservation given the unrelenting pressures on the natural environment.
The letter described Hanna’s life-long challenges from her childhood leukemia, as he is presently recovering from major surgery. Hanna had been retired director until stepping down in December 2020, mentioning that it praised the family’s wishes for privacy.
Hanna’s daughters wrote in a letter that their father believed people being able to see animals led to them being more engaged in conservation efforts in the wild. Ohio Government Mile DeWine was sending best wishes to the family and keeping them in the prayers.
Hanna’s family reported because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they sought privacy, which they called ironic given their father’s love of interacting with people. While Jack’s health has deteriorated quickly, his great sense of humor continues to shine through. He still wears his khakis at home.
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