Columbus’ wildlife king is stepping away from the game.
After 42 years with the Columbus Zoo, which he helped turn into one of the world’s best, Jack Hanna plans to officially retire at the end of the year, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
“The zoo has been our life, and we want to thank everyone in Columbus, Central Ohio and all the folks who helped build it into something so special,” Hanna told the Columbus Dispatch. “I could stay at the zoo until my last days. And any time the zoo needs anything, all they have to do is ask and I’ll be there. But I am 73 now, and my grandkids are getting older. Some are getting married. I can’t keep up with all of them. I want to share the years we have left with my kids and grandkids.”
Due to his work at the zoo and as a television personality, “Jungle Jack” has become one of the most iconic and recognizable wildlife ambassadors and conservationists in the world. He’s been nominated for 15 Emmy awards and won five for his work on “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild” which still runs today.
Though retired, Hanna will retain the zoo’s director emeritus title he has had since 1992.