Jack Hanna: 5 things to know about celebrity zookeeper diagnosed with dementia

Jack Hanna: 5 things to know about celebrity zookeeper diagnosed with dementia

The family of beloved zookeeper Jack Hanna have announced that he is stepping down from public life after his dementia diagnosis rapidly progressed.

It is so heartbreaking. Celebrity Zookeeper Jack hanna – who has appeared on countless Wonders of Wildlife TV shows – is now reportedly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and is retiring from public life. The family of the 74-year-old conservation expert announced in a lengthy letter via social media on April 8 that “Doctors have diagnosed our father, Jack Hanna, with dementia, which is now believed to be the Alzheimer’s disease. His condition has progressed much faster over the past few months than any of us could have imagined. Unfortunately, dad is no longer able to participate in public life as before. We have five things we need to know about Jack.

Jack was a longtime zookeeper

He rose to national fame through his role as director of the Ohio Columbus Zoo from 1978 to 1992. He then took on a distinguished role and was the zoo’s spokesperson before retiring in 2020.

Zookeeper and TV personality Jack Hanna poses with a penguin. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Jack has appeared on numerous wildlife TV shows

He was well known to the public thanks to the organization of syndicated shows such as Animal Adventures from 1992-2011, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild from 2007-2020 and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown from 2011-2020. The shows have traveled the world, showcasing all different species of wildlife, as well as animal conservation efforts.

Jack was a beloved and familiar face on late night and morning TV talk shows

Jack appeared in Late Night With David Letterman 25 times between 1985 and 1993, when the show was on NBC, and 68 times when David moved to CBS with The Late Show between 1993 and 2015, always bringing interesting animal species to entertain and educate audiences. He and his animals have also appeared on The View, The Ellen degeneres Show, The Late Late Show with James corden and made 39 appearances on ABC’s AM show Good Morning America between 1990 and 2019.

Jack hannaZookeeper and animal educator Jack Hanna holds a leopard at an event in Los Angeles on April 24, 2016. Photo credit: Shutterstock.
Jack is a family man

He got married to his darling college wife Suzi for 53 years, and she traveled the world with him as part of his animal conservation efforts. The couple have three daughters, Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie, who are the ones who wrote the heartfelt letter about their father’s dementia diagnosis.

A letter from the Hanna family pic.twitter.com/ewuNYa0ReG

– Jack Hanna (@JungleJackHanna) April 7, 2021

Jack’s health is unfortunately fading quickly

His daughters noted in their letter that “Although dad’s health has deteriorated rapidly, we can assure you that his great sense of humor continues to shine.” They added, “And yes, he always wears his khakis at home,” referring to his iconic long-sleeved shirt and khaki pants that he would wear on all his television appearances and trips to the world. nature.

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