Animal expert “Jungle” Jack Hanna is affected by dementia, believed to be Alzheimer’s illness, and might not introduce animals to the general public as he has for practically 4 a long time, his family introduced Wednesday.
“Doctors have recognized our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s illness,” his three grownup daughters — Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie — stated in an announcement. “His situation has progressed a lot sooner in the previous couple of months than any of us might have anticipated. Sadly, Dad is not capable of take part in public life as he used to, the place folks all around the world watched, discovered and laughed alongside him.”
The girls defined that their father, greatest identified for his appearances on comic David Letterman’s TV exhibits, has all the time believed within the significance of connecting folks and wildlife. Hanna thought that was what motivated them to become involved in conservation efforts.
“He all the time stated, ‘You have to the touch the guts to show the thoughts,'” they stated within the assertion. “Even although Dad is not capable of journey and work in the identical approach, we all know that his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and can proceed to be his legacy.”
They famous that their mom, Suzi, stays by Hanna’s aspect after 53 years of marriage.
Professionally, the 74-year-old retired final 12 months from his longtime function as spokesman for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio. According to the bio on his web site, Hanna took over as director of that facility in 1978, after having labored at a zoo in Florida.
“When I first began on the Columbus Zoo, attendance was low and the animal habitats have been outdated,” he wrote. “My high precedence was to extend attendance by providing instructional and entertaining occasions.”
As a part of the leisure purpose, in 1985, he appeared on David Letterman’s late-night present. The two “hit it off.” From then on, Hanna and his animals have been common company, showing on Late Night With David Letterman and its successor, Late Show With David Letterman, a mixed 90-plus instances, with Hanna taking part in the comedic straight man.
Hanna appeared on many different TV exhibits over time, resembling Good Morning America and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. He’s additionally had a number of exhibits of his personal, together with Animal Adventures, Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown and the daytime Emmy-winning Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, which final debuted a brand new episode in September, based on IMDb.
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