Jack Hanna, Former Columbus Zoo Director, Has Dementia and Is Retiring From Public Life

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images Jack Hanna, the beloved former director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, has been diagnosed with dementia which his family believes has now progressed to Alzheimer's disease, his three daughters announced on Wednesday.

In a statement posted on Hanna's Twitter account, his daughters -- Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie -- shared that his condition had progressed much faster in the last few months than any of his family could have anticipated and he is now no longer able to participate in public life as he used to.

"A passion for wildlife conservation and education has been at the core of who our dad is and everything he has accomplished with the help of so many," the statement reads.

Even though Dad is no longer able to travel and work in the same way, we know that his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and will continue to be his legacy."

Hanna's children noted that his wife, Suzi, continues to remain at his side.

Mike DeWine also tweeted a statement in support of Hanna and his family during this difficult time.

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