Jack Hanna, the American zookeeper and television personality, has been diagnosed with dementia and is retiring from public life.
In a letter released on Wednesday, Hanna’s daughters said their father’s condition has worsened in recent months. “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.
Hanna worked as the director of the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio from 1978 to 1992, and still serves as its director emeritus.
Between 1993 and 2008, Hanna hosted the syndicated nature series Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. He was also a frequent guest on the talk show circuit, appearing regularly on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Late Show with David Letterman, and Good Morning America where he presented live animal demonstrations.
We're saddened by the latest news of Jungle Jack's dementia diagnosis, now believed to be Alzheimer's disease, and Julie's health complications that were shared today in a heartfelt letter written by Jack's daughters. Please join us in sending messages of support for the Hannas. pic.twitter.com/h0sklVWN4k
— Columbus Zoo (@ColumbusZoo) April 7, 2021