Jack Hanna Diagnosed With Dementia, Believed To Be Alzheimer’s Disease, Says Family

Dave and I 'hit it off' and now I am a guest on The Late Show several times each year." "Two years later, in 1985," he recalled, "I appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman for the first time.
Our 42 years at the Columbus Zoo have been the best of our lives—we’ve raised our daughters here and had the honor of revitalizing our Zoo alongside a great team while being advocates for wildlife worldwide.” In a news release announcing his retirement last year, Hanna said on behalf of himself and his wife, “Suzi and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the Central Ohio community and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium family.
His Late Show appearances were always as funny as they were educational, with Letterman ribbing a seemingly bewildered but passionate Hanna, who always had an animal on his shoulder — or sometimes in his shirt.
The announcement of his condition comes one day after the current CEO and CFO of the Columbus Zoo stepped down amid an investigation into their alleged misuse of funds.
realizing the importance of public relations to funding and attendance, Hanna hosted a local television program to boost its visbality. Hanna's Ark, as the show was called, aired on the local CBS affiliate in Columbus, WBNS, from 1981-83. "Jungle" Jack Hanna became the director of the Columbus Zoo in the late '70s.
Jack Hanna, the wildlife conservationist who played straight main to David Letterman through decades of comedic animal segments before becoming a TV star in his own right, is battling what is believed to be Alzheimer's disease. That according to a statement posted to social media by his family on Wednesday.
The Hanna family's statement asked for privacy and sought to assure fans that Jungle Jack Hanna is still Jungle Jack Hanna. And yes — he still wears his khakis at home." "While Dad's health has deteriorated quickly, we can assure you that his great sense of humor still shines through.
He has published 15 books in all. Hanna published his autobiography, Monkeys on the Interstate, in 1989.
Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown had a near decade-long run from 2011-2020 on ABC. Jack Hanna's Into the Wild began in 2007 and was syndicated. The syndicated Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures ran from 1993-2008.
"I eagerly accepted the invitation knowing that this was a great opportunity to educate people across the nation about animals. "In 1983, I was invited to appear on Good Morning America in New York following the birth of baby twin gorillas at the Columbus Zoo," wrote Hanna on his web site. I have been a regular guest and wildlife correspondent ever since."

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He was named Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 1992. The annual attendance of the Columbus Zoo increased by over 400% during Hanna's directorship.
"Sadly, Dad is no longer able to participate in public life as he used to." "His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated," reads the statement, which indicated he was initially diagnosed with dementia.

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