His daughters Kathaleen, Julie, and Suzanne highlighted his amazing contributions to wildlife conservation efforts.
Jack Hanna, who formerly served as director of Ohio's well-known Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been diagnosed with dementia. The wildlife expert's family announced the unfortunate news on Wednesday as they shared a letter on his official Twitter account. They explained in detail about his condition, stating that it is "now believed to be Alzheimer's," and has "progressed much faster in the last few months" than they expected, Good Morning America reported.
I hate to hear this, Jack Hanna is almost solely responsible for the success of The Columbus zoo. Great man, tremendous legacy. https://t.co/0I53JLPNEp— Michelle B. Young 💛🐝 (@MichelleBYoung1) April 7, 2021
It was because of this that Hanna, who had previously announced his retirement from the Columbus Zoo back in June 2020, is going to step back even from public life. "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 letter read. "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," the note continued. "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."
I was devastated to learn Jack Hanna was diagnosed with dementia. pic.twitter.com/80FGUpYpLW— ~𝓣𝓮𝓷𝓪𝓬𝓲𝓸𝓾𝓼 𝓣𝓮𝓪𝓱~ (@TeahCartel) April 8, 2021
"He’s always said, 'You have to touch the heart to teach the mind,'" they 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.". Hanna's three daughters, Kathaleen, Julie, and Suzanne, went on to highlight that his "impactful" contributions to wildlife conservation efforts have resulted in many media appearances and advocacy efforts over the years. They stated that they are "abundantly proud to be his daughters."
HEARTBREAKING 💔 "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."— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) April 7, 2021
The news of Jack Hanna's dementia diagnosis is a sad development to his many fans.https://t.co/mYARxGfdzS pic.twitter.com/Th9oZGOkcU
"While Dad's health has deteriorated quickly, we can assure you that his great sense of humor continues to shine through. And yes - he still wears his khakis at home," the statement added. "To keep everyone safe in light of COVID-19 restrictions, we are asking for privacy, which is ironic given Dad's love of interacting with people. We are grateful that the many hearts he's touched over the years are with him during this journey, which gives us strength."
It sucks. Hes a good dude. We all age, and time gets us all. We could be collectively breaking down borders and ending wars, speeding up medical technology and literally ending genetic breakdown and death. But we out here taking rights, building walls, and fighting over oil.— Ryoko Kleiger (@KleigerRyoko) April 7, 2021
In their note, the three of them also went on to speak about their mother, Suzi, who married Hanna back in 1968. "Our mom -- Suzi -- has been by his side for 53 years in every corner of the world," they wrote. "She continues to be his rock (and ours, too)." "We have great respect and admiration for Mom as we move through not only this difficult time with Dad but also Julie’s continued life-long challenges from her childhood leukemia, as she is currently recovering from major surgery," they added. The Hanna family has asked for privacy during this crucial time in Jack's life.
💔Thank you Jack for sharing your childlike enthusiasm as you traveled the world bringing us, the viewers, along with you connecting with people from all walks of life, their culture, and the animals they cared for. Wishing you and your family peace.— Dr. Lisa A.🇺🇸 (@Mijitalisa) April 8, 2021