Jack Hanna (2023)

April 7, 2021

A Letter from the Hanna Family

Today, we reach out to share some personal Hanna Family news. Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease. 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.

(Video) Kangaroos, Hawks & an Alligator w/ Jack Hanna

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.” 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.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been a major part of our lives since we moved to Central Ohio as young girls in 1978.From day one, Dad advocated for improved wildlife habitats and focused on connecting the community with animals. After he left his active management role as Executive Director in 1992, he continued to be a spokesperson for the zoo until his retirement last year.

Dad engaged with millions of households through his media appearances and weekly television programs – including Animal Adventures, Into the Wild and Wild Countdown. This allowed him to bring an unparalleled level of awareness to the importance of global conservation given the unrelenting pressures on the natural environment. To say that we are abundantly proud to be his daughters is an understatement.

Dad loves the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds and has great appreciation for the hundreds of employees and volunteers, who work extremely hard each day to care for the animals and ensure an incredible experience for the families who visit. We share his dedication to the Central Ohio community and will continue to support the Columbus Zoo and conservation efforts around the world.

(Video) Gila Monster, Baby Beaver & Pixie Frog w/ Jack Hanna

Our mom – Suzi – has been by his side for 53 years in every corner of the world. 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.

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.

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.

(Video) Jack Hanna Collection on Letterman, Part 1 of 11: 1985-1986

Thank you, and we appreciate your understanding –

Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie Hanna

(Video) Leopards, a Bearcat & Penguin w/ Jack Hanna


Is Julie Hanna ill? ›

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.

Is Jack Hanna a good person? ›

Jack is a very caring, kind, compassionate person.

How old is Jack Hanna now? ›

Does Suzi hanna have alzheimers? ›

SUZI Egli has been married to legendary animal expert Jack Hanna for more than five decades. It was revealed in April of 2021 that Hanna has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Did Jack Hannah pass away? ›

A family spokesperson announced that Hannah died of complications of the West Nile Virus. Jack Hannah founded The Sons of the San Joaquin with his brother Joe and nephew Lon.

Is it true that Jack Hanna has dementia? ›

Jack Bushnell Hanna, a retired American zookeeper and a former director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, was recently diagnosed with dementia and what is now believed by his family to be Alzheimer's disease.

What is Jack Hanna suffering from? ›

Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer's disease.

How old was Jack Hanna when he was diagnosed with dementia? ›

At 74, Hanna is of average age for dementia. “The majority of patients are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, but you can get early-onset Alzheimer's disease as young as the 40s,” Dr.

Is Jack Hanna's wife okay? ›

What shrinks in the brain during Alzheimer's? ›

Loss of neuronal connections and cell death

In Alzheimer's disease, as neurons are injured and die throughout the brain, connections between networks of neurons may break down, and many brain regions begin to shrink.

Does the mind diet prevent Alzheimer's? ›

Evidence supporting the MIND diet comes from observational studies of more than 900 dementia-free older adults, which found that closely following the MIND diet was associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and a slower rate of cognitive decline.

Does Dr Priya still at Columbus zoo? ›

Priya is a senior veterinarian at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and helps to provide medical care to the 10,000 animals that are housed there.

What's the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's? ›

While dementia is a general term, Alzheimer's disease is a specific brain disease. It is marked by symptoms of dementia that gradually get worse over time. Alzheimer's disease first affects the part of the brain associated with learning, so early symptoms often include changes in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.

How many children does Jack Hannah have? ›

The Hannas have been married for over 50 years and have three daughters, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Why is Jack Hanna retiring? ›

A day later, in timing they said was unrelated, Hanna's family announced he had dementia and would retire from public life.

Does Jack Hanna have children? ›

Jack Hanna

Did Jack Hanna work with Marlin Perkins? ›

"Some guy took photos of this and he ended up selling them to a magazine and everyone thought I was eaten by a snake," he told the paper. In 1972, Hanna was working with Jim Fowler, the co-host of Marlin Perkins' "Wild Kingdom," he told NFocus Nashville.

What does Jack Hanna's daughter do? ›

Jack Hanna

Did Jack Hanna leave the Columbus Zoo? ›

Hanna stepped down from the Columbus Zoo's top job in 1992 to become director emeritus and focus on public appearances and his TV career.

How many times was Jack Hanna on Letterman? ›

Jack Hanna made his first appearance on television with David Letterman on Feb. 14, 1985. Hanna was on the show more than 100 times in the following 30 years before Letterman left television in May 2015.

Is Jack Hanna a zoologist? ›

Jack Hanna, in full Jack Bushnell Hanna, byname Jungle Jack, (born January 2, 1947, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.), American zoologist who served as director of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo (1978–92) and became a well-known animal expert through his frequent television appearances.

What animal guy has Alzheimer's? ›

"Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia now believed to be Alzheimer's disease." The 74-year-old Hanna was a longtime contributor to "Good Morning America" beginning in the early 1980s and is one of the most notable animal experts in the United States.

What actor was recently diagnosed with dementia? ›

Chris Hemsworth is taking a break from acting after discovering his high Alzheimer's risk.

What nationality is Jack Hanna? ›

How did Jack Hannah meet his wife? ›

The Hannas met at Muskingum College when Jack was preparing for a career working with animals, and Suzi was pursuing a degree in education. They married in 1968 and, when Suzi was pregnant with their first daughter, Jack brought home a “kid” for her to practice with – a baby goat!

Does Jack Hanna's wife work at the zoo? ›

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jack Hanna and his wife Suzi have been married for more than 50 years. But there has been another “Suzi” in his life for nearly that long. “Oh my gosh, I worked with that man for 40 years,” says Suzi Rapp, Vice President of Animal Programs at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Where is Jack Hanna's ranch in Montana? ›

It was named Elk Cabin because it sits on an old elk farm in Montana, just outside Bigfork, but since he shares this secluded retreat with his wife Suzi, they call it their “Honeymoon Suite.”

What is the most common cause of death in Alzheimer's patients? ›

The most common cause of death among Alzheimer's patients is aspiration pneumonia. This happens when, due to difficulty in swallowing caused by the disease, an individual inadvertently inhales food particles, liquid, or even gastric fluids.

What is the best way to slow down Alzheimer's? ›

These include:
  1. stopping smoking.
  2. keeping alcohol to a minimum.
  3. eating a healthy, balanced diet, including at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  4. exercising for at least 150 minutes every week by doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as cycling or fast walking), or as much as you're able to.

What are 3 causes of Alzheimer's? ›

Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer's disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. In less than 1% of cases, Alzheimer's is caused by specific genetic changes that almost guarantee a person will develop the disease.

What are 3 foods that fight memory loss? ›

What are the foods that fight memory loss? Berries, fish, and leafy green vegetables are 3 of the best foods that fight memory loss. There's a mountain of evidence showing they support and protect brain health.

Are eggs on the MIND diet? ›

Yes, you can eat eggs on the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay), which limits only cheese and butter.

Who is Dr Priya's husband? ›

Davidar and brother Mark Davidar is one of the founders of the Sigur Nature Trust (SNT), in Masinagudi, Tamil Nadu, India which is a 30-acre [CONVERT] wildlife reserve. She married Jean-Philippe Puyravaud who is a research scientist trained in remote sensing.

Did zoo lose AZA accreditation? ›

The ZAA accreditation comes within one year of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium losing its previous accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums – a nationally recognized “best practices” honor that the zoo held for more than 40 years. The zoo tried to appeal the decision, but it was denied by the AZA.

Is Dr Priya from Columbus Zoo married? ›

Dr. Priya Jitendra Ghelani and Dr. Shawn Laxmikant Shah were married April 14 at the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas in Irving, Tex. Mamta Kapadia, a Hindu priest, officiated.

Who is Julie Hannah husband? ›

Julie Hannah and Andy MacAllister had a very glamourous wedding on 7th September in Marbella.

Where is Julie Hannah from? ›

Hanna was born in Sohag, Egypt.

Who is Julie Hannah? ›

Julie Hannah is a Lecturer in the School of Law, Director of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy based at the Human Rights Centre, and co-founder of the Centre for Mental Health, Human Rights, and Social Justice, a global research consortium.

Who is Hannah Nguyen? ›

Hannah Nguyen - Assistant Professor - California State University, Dominguez Hills | LinkedIn.

Did Hannah from below deck get married? ›

That wasn't the only big event to take place in Hannah's life this year. In March, she married her husband Josh Roberts in a beautiful ceremony held in Sydney, Australia. The couple tied the knot just 16 months after welcoming their daughter, who played an intricate role in the beachside wedding.

Who is Julie Waldorf? ›

Julie Waldorf has been a fashion stylist for over a decade and brings an expert point of view to her work. Julie has a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design & Merchandising from the Paris American Academy of Design in France and the American College in Los Angeles, California.

How many children does Jack Hanna and his wife have? ›

The Hannas have been married for over 50 years and have three daughters, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. And, of course, their family wouldn't be complete without their golden retriever, Brass.

Does Sam Hanna have a wife? ›

His wife was killed at the behest of his arch nemesis.

In the Season 8 episode "Uncaged"—Sam tried to rescue his kidnapped wife, Michelle—an act that involved the infamous terrorist Tahir Khaled. Unfortunately, Sam was unable to save Michelle's life; she died in the same episode.

Who is Scotland's most stylish man? ›

Artist and playwright John Byrne named Scotland's most stylish man.

When was Julie Baker born? ›

Julie Baker (born October 30, 1962) is an American-born fashion model, based in New York City, who has appeared in, and on the covers of, various fashion magazines including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and InStyle.

Who is Julie Griffin? ›

Julie Griffin is an American singer, she's demo singer from the composer and producer, Gordon Pogoda. Julie grew up in Virginia, but has lived in Los Angeles for many years now.


1. The Best of "Jungle" Jack Hanna | Letterman
2. [Full Episode] What’s Chillin’ on Loni’s Head?!
(The Real Daytime)
3. Screech Owls & River Otters w/ Jack Hanna, Jeff Goldblum & Marlon Wayans
(The Late Late Show with James Corden)
4. Porcupine, Armadillo & a Camel w/ Jack Hanna, Lucy Liu & Terry Crews
(The Late Late Show with James Corden)
5. Jack Hanna Brings a Bald Eagle to #NataliesHouse
(The Late Late Show with James Corden)
6. Jack Hanna Collection on Letterman, Part 5 of 11: 1998-1999
(Don Giller)


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