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Jack Hanna

Animal expert “Jungle Jack” Hanna is one of the most visible and respected ambassadors between the human and animal worlds. His hands-on approach and experience with wildlife has won him widespread acclaim as an author, television personality, conservationist, and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.


Having cultivated a love for animals on the family farm, Jack spent his teenage summers helping a local veterinarian by cleaning animal cages. After graduating from Muskingum College, Jack and Suzi, his wife and college sweetheart, opened Pet Kingdom, a successful pet store and petting zoo. From there it was only a few years until Jack was named director of the Central Florida Zoo.

Jack took flight in 1978 when he received the opportunity of a lifetime: directorship of the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. The zoo was struggling and in need of rejuvenation when Jack arrived. His keen understanding of public relations sparked this remarkable turnabout and transformed the floundering establishment into the state-of-the-art zoo and aquarium it is today. 

Jack has taken his ineffable passion to the airwaves through his successful television programs, Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown. Jack and his family take viewers all over the world to visit amazing animals and fascinating cultures. Into the Wild has been awarded three Daytime Emmys – Outstanding Children’s Series (2008 and 2012) and Outstanding Travel Program (2013). Previously, Jack hosted Hanna’s Ark, Zoo Life and Animal Adventures – which is still airing in syndication today. Recognized around the world as America’s favorite zookeeper, Jack reveals his contagious enthusiasm for his wild companions. Jack makes countless appearances on television shows including Good Morning America, Larry King Live, The Late Show with David Letterman, FOX News Programs, CNN’s AC 360, Piers Morgan Tonight, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and The Talk.

A dynamic orator, Jack now enjoys speaking across the country, sharing his globe-trotting experiences with thousands of people through his special window into the animal world. Author of eleven books – and counting – his timeless tales continue to captivate audiences of every generation.

Jack is an active supporter of Partners In Conservation, the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He is also a professional fellow of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Whatever Jack’s role, he will always remain an adventurer at heart, never hesitating to jump at the chance to travel, explore, and support the animal world.