Animal expert Jack Hanna has dementia, family announces

Animal expert “Jungle” Jack Hanna is suffering from dementia, believed to be Alzheimer’s disease, and can no longer introduce animals to the public as he has for nearly four decades, his family announced Wednesday.

“Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease,” his three adult daughters — Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie — said in a statement. “His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated. 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 women explained that their father, best known for his appearances on comedian David Letterman’s TV shows, has always believed in the importance of connecting people and wildlife. Hanna thought that was what motivated them to get involved in conservation efforts. 

“He always said, ‘You have to touch the heart to teach the mind,'” they said in the statement. “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.”

They noted that their mother, Suzi, remains by Hanna’s side after 53 years of marriage.

Professionally, the 74-year-old retired last year from his longtime role as spokesman for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio. According to the bio on his website, Hanna took over as director of that facility in 1978, after having worked at a zoo in Florida.

“When I first started at the Columbus Zoo, attendance was low and the animal habitats were outdated,” he wrote. “My top priority was to increase attendance by offering educational and entertaining events.”

Jack Hanna, left, introduces a snake on David Letterman’s Late Show With David Letterman on Nov. 26, 2002. (Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)

As part of the entertainment goal, in 1985, he appeared on David Letterman’s late-night show. The two “hit it off.” From then on, Hanna and his animals were regular guests, appearing on Late Night With David Letterman and its successor, Late Show With David Letterman, a combined 90-plus times, with Hanna playing the comedic straight man.

Story continues

Hanna appeared on many other TV shows over the years, such as Good Morning America and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. He’s also had several shows of his own, including Animal Adventures, Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown and the daytime Emmy-winning Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, which last debuted a new episode in September, according to IMDb. 

Read more on Yahoo Entertainment:

You can view the original article HERE.

Lance Reddick Will Return as Charon in John Wick Spinoff Ballerina
The Unloved, Part 108: Last Action Hero | MZS
A Gripping Thriller From Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae
Jeremy Allen White Added 40 Pounds of Muscle to Play Pro Wrestler in The Iron Claw
David Byrne shares new Christmas song ‘Fat Man’s Comin”
Dolly Parton planning to cover Prince and Rolling Stones on rock album – Music News
Elton John for Glastonbury? Fans speculate “one final date” tease
Christine McVie Dies; Legendary Fleetwood Mac Singer Was 79
Daredevil Disney+ Revival Adds Michael Gandolfini to Cast
Brad William Henke Dies: Orange Is The New Black & Dexter Actor Was 56
You Season 4 Latest Look Reveals Penn Badgley as Professor Jonathan Moore
Big Sky Season 3 Episode 9 Review: Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire
Rumor: Kim Kardashian’s Team Reached Out to Bi-Racial MLB Player
Essential Steps to Consider Before You Begin Online Gaming
LeBron James Calls Out Media Over Viral Jerry Jones Photo Controversy
5 Times it’s Okay to Spoil Yourself With Dessert
Uvalde Shooting Survivors File $27 Billion Lawsuit Against Cops, School District
‘Orange Is The New Black’, ‘Justified’ & ‘Dexter’ Actor Was 56
The Mandalorian’s Season 3 Release Date, Cast, Plot, Trailer
‘Orange Is The New Black’ Actor Brad William Henke Dead at 56
Nina Runsdorf & Kate Young Toast To The Holidays, Christian Louboutin Kicks Off Art Basel, And More!
Meghan Markle Wears Green Armani Dress at Indianapolis Event
What Laura Brown Did Next, Silvia Tcherassi Shows Pre-Fall ’23 In Miami, And More!
Most Comfortable Lingerie to Shop in 2022