Jack Hanna, 74, is suffering from what is believed to be Alzheimer’s disease, according to his family.
The beloved animal expert and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s daughters shared the devastating news on Wednesday in an emotional letter shared to social media.
“Today, we reach out to share some personal Hanna Family news,” wrote Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie. “Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease.”
A letter from the Hanna Family pic.twitter.com/ewuNYa0ReG
— Jack Hanna (@JungleJackHanna) April 7, 2021
They continued, “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.”
Hanna, a.k.a. “Jungle Jack”, made a number of appearances on both daytime and late-night talk shows, he even served as regular guest and wildlife correspondent “Good Morning America” for over 30 years. His most notable appearances were on “The Late Show With David Letterman”, “Larry King Live”, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, “Hollywood Squares”, “The Maury Show”, “Entertainment Tonight” and more.
“While Dad’s health has deteriorated quickly, we can assure you that his great sense of humour continues to shine through,” his family continued in their post. “And yes – he still wears his khakis at home.”
“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,” they concluded. “We are grateful that the many hearts he’s touched over the years are with him during this journey, which gives us strength.”