Celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna diagnosed with dementia, family says

Jack Hanna, movie star zookeeper and wildlife conservationist, has been diagnosed with dementia, his family stated Wednesday. The former director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium can be retiring from public life. 

Hanna’s three daughters — Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie — introduced their 74-year-old father’s analysis in a letter posted on social media. Doctors consider his situation, which progressed a lot sooner than anticipated, to be Alzheimer’s.”Even although Dad is now not in a position to journey and work in the identical means, we all know that his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and can proceed to be his legacy,” his daughters wrote.
A letter from the Hanna Family pic.twitter.com/ewuNYa0ReG— Jack Hanna (@JungleJackHanna) April 7, 2021

Hanna, also called “Jungle Jack,” grew to become a widely known wildlife professional via his work as director of the Columbus Zoo — a publish he held from 1978 to 1992 — and his frequent media appearances on late-night speak reveals, the place he steadily launched the animals he labored with to audiences.

“Dad engaged with hundreds of thousands of households via his media appearances and weekly tv packages — together with Animal Adventures, Into the Wild and Wild Countdown,” the sisters wrote. “This allowed him to carry an unparalleled stage of consciousness to the significance of worldwide conservation given the unrelenting pressures on the pure atmosphere.”

Jack Hanna and his family on their first day at Columbus Zoo, 1978.

Courtesy: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The letter additionally highlighted Julie Hanna’s “continued life-long challenges from her childhood leukemia, as she is at present recovering from main surgical procedure.”The family went on to request privateness and understanding as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions, with the sisters including, “ironic given Dad’s love of interacting with individuals.”

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Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the place Hanna had been emeritus director till stepping down final December, shared the letter as properly, stating that it was respecting the family’s needs for privateness.”While Jack retired from his official position on the finish of 2020, his legacy can be ever-present in our work as we proceed to satisfy our group’s mission to guide and encourage by connecting individuals and wildlife,” the group instructed CBS News.
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