Movie star zookeeper and animal TV present host Jack Hanna has been recognized with dementia and can retire from public life, his household stated.
In a information launch Wednesday, his household added that it is believed he now has Alzheimer’s illness that has shortly 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 targeted on connecting the neighborhood with animals,” the assertion signed by his three daughters stated. Hanna continued to be a spokesperson for the Ohio zoo till he retired in 2020.
Hanna can be well-known for his reside animal demonstrations on discuss exhibits hosted by Johnny Carson, David Letterman and James Corden, rising the profile of the Columbus Zoo and resulting in huge attendance will increase over time.
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 yr.
“Whereas Dad’s well being has deteriorated shortly, we are able to guarantee you that his nice humorousness continues to shine by,” the assertion stated. “And sure, he nonetheless wears his khakis at house.”
His household requested for privateness in gentle of COVID-19 restrictions.
“He has spent his life connecting individuals and wildlife as a result of he has all the time believed that having individuals see and expertise animals is essential to partaking them in additional impactful conversations,” his household stated. “Despite the fact that Dad is not capable of journey and work in the identical method, we all know that his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and can proceed to be his legacy.”