Fans React to Wildlife Expert Jack Hanna Stepping Away From Public Life After Dementia Diagnosis
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.”
A letter from the Hanna Family pic.twitter.com/ewuNYa0ReG
— Jack Hanna (@JungleJackHanna) April 7, 2021
“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.
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:
Jack Hanna is such a great man I had the pleasure of working with him several times.
Just kindness and love. Sending him and his family the best. 🙏🏽💓 https://t.co/o8R3QkXg8i
— Holly Robinson Peete😷🥰 (@hollyrpeete) April 7, 2021
ESPN’s Dick Vitale recognized Hanna’s charitable side with his sentiment of support:
I was heartbroken to learn today that JACK HANNA @JungleJackHanna who supports my goal to raise $ for Pediatric research for @TheVFoundation is now facing a battle against dementia. Please pray for him and his family at this tough time. Jack is truly a GREAT humanitarian.
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) April 7, 2021
Below, see what fans are saying about Hanna’s diagnosis, including their words of encouragement.
Jack Hanna was a major inspiration for me to work with animals. I’m absolutely heartbroken to know he’s going through this. Sending all my love to the family ❤️ navigating dementia of a loved one is one of the hardest things https://t.co/oZOpRCAwE2
— Ashleyhausen 💀 (@AshleyWinward) April 7, 2021
I’ve watched people I love dearly suffer from dementia. It’s brutal, unforgiving and heart wrenching. You feel entirely powerless to the disease.
Sending much love to Jack Hanna and his family. As well as to anyone whose loved ones are dealing with a similar diagnosis.❤️
— chrit (@Chritters_) April 7, 2021
Jack Hanna has been around ever since I was a little girl. I remember him on television all the time with his animals and always being such a kind man.
It’s sad that he’s having to step away from his career because of dementia.
— 🇺🇸Rachel😷 (@Rachel1964Alva) April 8, 2021
I had to post this jewel from 2013. I got to meet Jack Hanna and I was just enchanted by him. As an animal lover I always wanted to BE Jack Hanna, so getting to meet and talk with him was amazing for me. I hate to hear about his dementia and I pray for him and his family. pic.twitter.com/q8esi5PeAl
— sarcastic mom (@SonyaTaylor30) April 7, 2021
My heart goes out to Jack Hanna and his family.
#Dementia took my own father. 😢❤️
— Pol McShane (@Polmcshane) April 8, 2021
Sad to read about Jungle Jack Hanna. He really turned around the zoo, when you think of what it was when he started. Dementia is heartbreaking
— Sithi Aditu, MLS (@sithiaditu) April 7, 2021