Jack Hanna, a zoologist and wildlife expert who became famous after his frequent appearances on television, is retiring from public eye due to dementia, his family announced Wednesday.
“Doctors have found that our father, Jack Hanna, has dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease,” Hanna’s family wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
“His condition has become worse much faster in the last few months than we would have expected,” the statement said.
“Unfortunately, my father is no longer able to participate in public life as he used to, where people all over the world were watching, reading and laughing with him.”
Jack Hanna’s Career
“Jungle” Jack Hanna and his animals became a regular part on TV night and day shows, due to his frequent appearances on shows such as “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” “Late night with David Letterman” and “Today.”
Those appearances landed Hanna his own shows, including” Animal Adventures,” “Into the Wild” and “Wild Countdown.”
The 76-year-old now reportedly retired as a director and then director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in December 2020 after 42 years.
The statement paid tribute to his wife Suzi, who has been “beside him for 53 years in every corner of the globe” and Hanna’s love for the community at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
“As my father’s health deteriorated rapidly, we can assure you that his comedy continues to shine. And yes – he is still wearing his khaki at home,” the statement read. “To keep everyone safe because of the limitations of COVID-19, we ask for privacy, which is bizarre that my dad has a passion for communicating with people. We are glad that many of the hearts he has touched over the years have been with him on this journey,