July 18, 2024


For splendid leisure

Jack Hanna closes cage doors on wild journey with Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

12 min read
Jack Hanna, photographed in Jack's Base Camp Yurt at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, retired as director emeritus from the zoo at the end of the year. The yurt was used as a filming location for "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild" and "Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown." The zoo announced Dec. 9 that it had been relocated to The Wilds.

Energetic. Kind. Humble. Jack Hanna is many things to many people, but to Suzi, his wife of nearly 52 years, and others who know him best, it’s those qualities that stand out.

But to residents of central Ohio young and old and to TV audiences around the world, he’s Jungle Jack Hanna – lover of animals, passionate conservationist, author, entertainer, TV personality and, hands-down, without a doubt, the best ambassador any zoo has ever had.

Soon, though, the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will retire from his post – a career that has spanned 42 years, all seven continents and more television appearances than anyone can count.

The zoo announced in June that Hanna would hang up his hat Dec. 31. He will retain the title of director emeritus, and his name will continue to be used, including on Jack Hanna’s Animal Encounters Village, which opened in summer 2020 as part of the new Adventure Cove region, the zoo’s largest.

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