Jack Hanna's Wife and Kids Offered a Devastating Update on the Zookeeper's Declining Health

Chris Barilla - Author

Jun. 22 2023, Updated 12:02 p.m. ET

The Hanna Family
Source: Facebook

Throughout his decades-long career as a wildlife conversationalist and television personality, Jack Hanna has endeared himself to millions in a way few in his field could ever have. Combining a trademark lovable persona with an encyclopedic knowledge of the outside world, Jack has stood out as a larger-than-life figure over the course of his entire career.

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Beyond the beautiful animals, quick wit, and endless conservation efforts, Jack has also always been a family man who kept those he loved close. Now, in the wake of his diagnosis with advanced dementia that may have progressed into Alzheimer's disease, a clear picture of Jack's personal life is coming more into focus than ever.

American zookeeper Jack Hanna holding a lemur attends the 36th Annual National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) Convention and Exhibition, held at the Ernest N Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 1999.
Source: Getty Images
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So, who are the famed wildlife expert's family? Here's what we know about his wife, kids, and other details including his developing medical condition.

Jack Hanna's wife, Suzi, is basically his biggest supporter and always has been.

Although fans of Jack are familiar with Suzi's face thanks to countless guest appearances on television over the years, not many know how long they've actually been together. In fact, Jack first developed an interest in Suzi when they were both only in college! 

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Married in their senior year, Jack and Suzi made their shared love of animals a focal point of their relationship from the very beginning. The pair even opened their own zoo years before Jack took on his prestigious role of director of the Columbus Zoo.

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Years later, when Jack announced his retirement from zoo efforts, he mentioned how important Suzi had been in his work over the years. "Our 42 years at the Columbus Zoo have been the best of our lives," he told NBC ahead of the unveiling of a bronze statue commemorating the couple's efforts within the zoo.

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Jack's kids have also played a very important role in his life.

Jack's adult daughters, Suzanne, Julie, and Kathleen, are all as loving as could be towards their 74-year-old father. From a young age, the Hanna children have been as widely exposed to animals as their nature-loving parents, and the love of animals has certainly rubbed off on them.

Beyond traditional schooling, Jack's daughters received extra lessons in all things animal-related, as Suzi would constantly bring them to the Columbus Zoo to watch their father in action. Over time, their passions developed into further conservation efforts and charitable endeavors as a family to benefit the animals they loved.

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Jack Hanna has dementia — his wife and kids offered a shocking health update.

In early 2022, in a statement released through Jack's various social media channels, his daughters revealed that the longtime conversationalist had been diagnosed with aggressive dementia that had likely turned into Alzheimer's disease.

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"Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease," the statement led off by saying. "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 alongside him."

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The trio wrote later in the post that they hope fans always remember the positive elements of Jack's life and career: "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."

Two years later, Jack's girls, along with his wife, sat down with The Columbus Dispatch for an exclusive interview, where they offered yet another heartbreaking update on the zookeeper's health. The Hanna family shared the article on Jack's official Facebook page alongside an impassioned message to fans.

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In the post, they thanked Jack's 17,000+ followers for their undying support amid Jack's health problems. Additionally, they shared the truth about how he's doing as of June 2023. 4"While Dad/Jack is still mobile, his mind fails him, the light in his eyes has dimmed, and we miss who he was each and every moment of the day," the post read.

What is Jack's net worth? He made an impressive amount of money over the years.

Through his television shows, endorsements, various creative endeavors, and his salary at the Columbus Zoo, Jack's accumulated net worth is truly impressive. Pegged at roughly $5 million by Celebrity Net Worth, the star clearly has done well for himself thanks to his decades of work with animals.

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