Celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna has dementia, will retire from public life

Celebrity zookeeper and animal TV present host Jack Hanna has been recognized with dementia and will retire from public life, his household mentioned.

In a information launch Wednesday, his household added that it is believed he now has Alzheimer’s illness that has rapidly progressed in the previous few months.

The 74-year-old Hanna was director of the Columbus Zoo from 1978 to 1992 and nonetheless serves as its director emeritus.

“Dad advocated for improved wildlife habitats and focused on connecting the community with animals,” the assertion signed by his three daughters mentioned. Hanna continued to be a spokesperson for the Ohio zoo till he retired in 2020.

Hanna can also be well-known for his reside animal demonstrations on discuss exhibits hosted by Johnny Carson, David Letterman and James Corden, growing the profile of the Columbus Zoo and resulting in huge attendance will increase through the years.

Hanna and NASCAR driver Justin Allgaier are pictured with an alligator on June 12, 2010 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Hanna, who all the time wore khakis on each tv look and in pictures, hosted the favored syndicated TV present Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures from 1993 to 2008. He additionally hosted Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, which began in 2007, and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown till final 12 months.

“While Dad’s health has deteriorated quickly, we can assure you that his great sense of humour continues to shine through,” the assertion mentioned. “And yes, he still wears his khakis at home.”

His household requested for privateness in gentle of COVID-19 restrictions.

“He has spent his life connecting people and wildlife because he has always believed that having people see and experience animals is key to engaging them in more impactful conversations,” his household mentioned. “Even though Dad is no longer able to travel and work in the same way, we know that his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and will continue to be his legacy.”

In a photograph from June 1995, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, left, is assisted by Hanna while holding a two-month-old Bengal tiger. (Richard Ellis/AFP by way of Getty Images)

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