Former Columbus Zoo and Aquarium director Jack Hanna, a famed animal expert who has appeared on countless television programs and talk shows over the years with various wild animals, has been diagnosed with dementia, “believed to be Alzheimer’s disease,” his family announced.
The 74-year-old’s family announced the news in a letter, telling fans, “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.”
The note 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.”
“He’s always said, ‘You have to touch the heart to teach the mind,’” his family wrote. “Even though Dad is no longer able to travel and work in the same way, we know that his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and will continue to be his legacy.”
Our thoughts are with Jack and the Hanna family.
When we last heard from Jack, he was speaking out about the gorilla Harambe in 2016.