Jungle Jack Hanna Announces Retirement After 40+ Years At Columbus Zoo

Jungle Jack Hanna announces retirement

Jungle Jack Hanna has announced that he will be retiring at the end of this year. His last day will be on December 31, 2020. Jack has served as the director and director emeritus for over 42 years at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio.

Jack’s statement read, “As I approach my mid-70s with more than four decades at the Columbus Zoo, I believe it is time to wind down and officially step back while CEO Tom Stalf and the Zoo’s great leadership team continue to guide the Zoo into the future. Together with many friends and partners, we’ve come a long way to make the world a better place for people and wildlife!”


Pop culture icon Jack Hanna is retiring

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Jungle Jack Hanna has called the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium home since 1978, serving tirelessly as both director and director emeritus over his 42 years in Central Ohio. He has not only delighted and educated international television audiences during his countless media appearances but has also changed the role zoos play in their communities and beyond. . And now, Jack Hanna is channeling his energy into a new role. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Hanna family are announcing Jack’s retirement at the end of the year. Out of respect for the many people whose lives the Hannas have touched, this news is being shared now to give the community ample time in the coming months to celebrate and thank Jack and Suzi. Jack’s career and leadership transformed the Zoo and set it on the course to be what it is today. . The Zoo celebrates its shared history with Jack and the wonderful memories of the impacts made for wildlife, people working to help these species and members of our local and global communities. . Read more about Jack Hanna's legacy and his retirement here: bit.ly/jackhannaretirement

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Jack has always loved animals. He even brought his pet donkey to live with him at a fraternity house at Muskingum University. In the ’70s, he became the director of a small zoo in Columbus, Ohio. He has also had several television series and often educated the public about various animals as a wildlife correspondent. He has also written 15 books.


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jack hanna
Jack Hanna / Scott Kirkland-Globe Photos

Jack is simply retiring to spend more time with his family. He continued, “[My wife] Suzi and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the Central Ohio community and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium family.”

jack hanna with a big cat
Jack Hanna / KGC-146/starmaxinc.com

He added, “Our 42 years at the Columbus Zoo have been the best of our lives—we’ve raised our daughters here and had the honor of revitalizing our Zoo alongside a great team while being advocates for wildlife worldwide. We look forward to supporting the Columbus Zoo for many years to come—while taking some much needed down time with our family along the way!”

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