Animal skilled “Jungle” Jack Hanna is affected by dementia, believed to be Alzheimer’s illness, and might now not introduce animals to the general public as he has for almost 4 many years, his household introduced Wednesday.
“Docs have recognized our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s illness,” his three grownup daughters — Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie — mentioned in a press release. “His situation has progressed a lot sooner in the previous few months than any of us may have anticipated. Sadly, Dad is now not capable of take part in public life as he used to, the place individuals all around the world watched, discovered and laughed alongside him.”
The ladies defined that their father, finest identified for his appearances on comic David Letterman’s TV exhibits, has all the time believed within the significance of connecting individuals and wildlife. Hanna thought that was what motivated them to get entangled in conservation efforts.
“He all the time mentioned, ‘It’s important to contact the guts to show the thoughts,'” they mentioned within the assertion. “Although Dad is now not capable of journey and work in the identical manner, 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 position as spokesman for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio. In accordance with the bio on his web site, Hanna took over as director of that facility in 1978, after having labored at a zoo in Florida.
“Once I first began on the Columbus Zoo, attendance was low and the animal habitats had been outdated,” he wrote. “My prime precedence was to extend attendance by providing academic and entertaining occasions.”
As a part of the leisure purpose, in 1985, he appeared on David Letterman’s late-night present. The 2 “hit it off.” From then on, Hanna and his animals had been common friends, showing on Late Night time With David Letterman and its successor, Late Present 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, similar to Good Morning America and the Ellen DeGeneres Present. He is 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, in keeping with IMDb.
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