Celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna diagnosed with dementia

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Jack Hanna, a famous zoo keeper and wildlife conservationist, was diagnosed with dementia, his family announced Wednesday. The former director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will retire from public life.

Hanna's three daughters - Kathaline, Susan and Julie - have announced their 74-year-old father was diagnosed with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer's disease. "

The daughters said in the statement, "His situation has progressed much faster in the past few months than any of us had expected." "Unfortunately, my father could no longer participate in public life as he did, as people all over the world saw him and learned and laughed with him."

"Jungle" Jack Hanna and his animals his animals are an essential component of late-night and daytime TV shows, thanks to his appearance in a lot of shows like "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," "Late night with David Letterman" and "Today." 

Those appearances landed Hanna his own shows, including" Animal Adventures," "Into the Wild" and "Wild Countdown."

It was reported that the 76-year-old retired as director and then honorary director of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in December 2020 after 42 years.

His daughters wrote in their statement: "The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have been a major part of our lives since we moved to central Ohio when we were little girls in 1978." "From day one, my father advocated improving wildlife habitats and focused on linking society to animals. After leaving his active management role as CEO in 1992, he continued as zoo spokesman until his retirement last year. "

The statement paid tribute to his wife, Susie, who had been at his side for 53 years in every corner of the world, and to Hannah's love for the community at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

The statement read: "While Dad's health is rapidly deteriorating, we can assure you that his sense of humor continues to shine. He's still wearing khaki at home. " "To keep everyone safe in the light of the limitations of COVID- 19, we ask for privacy, which is ironic given my father's love for interacting with people. We are grateful that the many hearts he has touched over the years with him during this journey, which gives us strength. "