(People) Jack Hanna, who gained national recognition for his love of animals as the director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, has been diagnosed with dementia, now thought to be Alzheimer’s, his family announced on Wednesday.
Hanna’s daughters, Kathaleen, Suzanne, and Julie, announced their 74-year-old father’s diagnosis in a letter shared on social media Wednesday by the Columbus Zoo, where Hanna, also known as “Jungle Jack,” served as director from 1978 to 1992. He officially retired from his conservation duties late last year.
“His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated,” Hanna’s daughters shared in the letter. “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.”