COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The family of celebrity zookeeper and TV show host Jack Hanna said he’s been diagnosed with dementia and will retire from public life.
In a news release Wednesday, his family said it’s believed he now has Alzheimer’s disease that has progressed quickly in the last few months.
The 74-year-old Hanna was director of the Columbus Zoo from 1978 to 1992 and still serves as its director emeritus.
Hanna is also well-known for his live animal demonstrations on late-night talk shows, as well as his own syndicated television shows. His entertainment work boosted the profile of the Ohio zoo, leading to massive attendance increases over the years.