TV host and zookeeper Jack Hanna diagnosed with dementia

TV host and zookeeper Jack Hanna diagnosed with dementia
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TV host and zookeeper Jack Hanna has been diagnosed with dementia and will be stepping away from public life, his family announced Wednesday.

“Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease,” Hanna’s three daughters, Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie, said in a social media post.

“His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated,” the daughters added.


Jack Hanna has been in the public spotlight for years for his work with wildlife, including TV appearances, live demonstrations with animals and his time with the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

He was the executive director of the Columbus Zoo from 1978 to 1992 and went on to be the spokesperson until 2020.

He made TV appearances on multiple talk shows and had his own TV shows such as “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures,” “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild” and “Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.”


“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,” the daughters wrote.

The family is asking for privacy “in light of COVID-19 restrictions.”

Over the years, Fran and I have had the opportunity to take our kids and grandkids to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds. When we were there with Jack, we were so fortunate to experience his passion for animals and the natural world,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineOhio law legalizing concealed knife carry, brass knuckles goes into effect The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Congress returns; infrastructure takes center stage Biden resists calls to give hard-hit states more vaccines than others MORE (R) said after the family’s announcement. “Along with our fellow Ohioans, we wish Jack, Suzi, and their daughters our best as they navigate the challenges of this disease and will be keeping them in our prayers.”