COLUMBUS — Jack Hanna’s daughters shared news this afternoon that their father has been diagnosed 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,” his daughters Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie wrote in a letter posted this afternoon on Jack Hanna’s Facebook page. “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.”
Jack Hanna has been an advocate for the Columbus Zoo for decades, where he continued to be a spokesman until last year when he retired.
“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,” his daughters said. “We share his dedication to the Central Ohio community and will continue to support the Columbus Zoo and conservation efforts around the world.”
The family has asked for privacy and said Hanna’s health has deteriorated quickly.
" We are grateful that the many hearts he’s touched over the years are with him during this journey, which gives us strength,” the letter read.