Jack Hanna's Family Announces Famous Zookeeper Is Suffering From Dementia

The family of “Jungle Jack” Hanna, 74, has announced his retirement after a diagnosis of dementia.

via: The Blast

‘Jungle Jack’ Hanna officially resigned from his position as director emeritus of Ohio’s Columbus Zoo and Aquarium last December, where he worked for over 42 years.

The famous zoologist’s family shared a letter on social media, revealing his diagnosis, which they believe has now progressed rapidly into Alzheimer’s disease. In the statement, the family says Hanna will no longer be able to participate in public life, where he made a huge impact on people’s lives with his funny antics with exotic animals.

“Sadly, Dad is no longer able to participate in public life as he used to, where people all over the world watched, learned and laughed alongside him,” his daughters wrote.

They continued, “A passion for wildlife conservation and education has been at the core of who our dad is and everything he has accomplished with the help of so many, He has spent his life connecting people and wildlife because he has always believed that having people see and experience animals is key to engaging them in more impactful conservation efforts.”

The family continued, “He’s always said, ‘You have to touch the heart to teach the mind.”

In the letter, Hanna’s family pointed out the tremendous impact he had at the Columbus zoo, where he initially “advocated for improved wildlife habitats” after taking the director position in 1978. The family also reflected on the impression he had on home audiences who watched the zoologists’ hilarious animal antics on his countless media appearances — including ‘The Tonight Show.’

Over the years, Hanna launched and hosted several programs including “Animal Adventures,” “Into the Wild” and “Wild Countdown.”

“While Dad’s health has deteriorated quickly, we can assure you that his great sense of humor continues to shine through. And yes — he still wears his khakis at home,” the family joked.

Thanks for the memories.

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