Fans React to Wildlife Expert Jack Hanna Stepping Away From Public Life After Dementia Diagnosis

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It was a shock to fans of wildlife advocate Jack Hanna to learn that he’d be stepping away from the public eye following a diagnosis of dementia.

In a letter addressed to his followers on social media, Hanna’s daughter wrote in part, “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 with him.”

Hanna’s best known for his television series Animal Adventures, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown. He has entertained audiences on various talk shows and late-night programs for the last several decades, making a lasting impression in pop culture, which makes his exit so devastating.

jack hanna

(Credit: Courtesy of Everett Collection)

A longtime fixture at the Columbus Zoo, Hanna hinted at his retirement in a tweet shared in December 2020.

Below, we rounding up some of the reactions from celebrities and fans alike who are keeping Hanna in their thoughts.

Holly Robinson Peete sent her well wishes for Hanna in a sweet message to his family:

ESPN’s Dick Vitale recognized Hanna’s charitable side with his sentiment of support:

Below, see what fans are saying about Hanna’s diagnosis, including their words of encouragement.