COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--"Jungle Jack" is calling it a career.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced Thursday that Jack Hanna is retiring, effective December 31st, 2020. Hanna has been with the zoo for over 40 years.
Hanna came to the zoo in 1978, when he started as Director, after attending college at Muskingum College, which is now Muskingum University.
Hanna stayed in that role until 1992, when he became Director Emeritus.
Hanna put the Columbus Zoo on the map with his frequent TV guest appearances, sharing his love for animals with hosts like David Letterman and James Corden.
Hanna also wrote 15 books and hosted his own TV shows about saving animals and exploring wildlife around the world.
Hanna says, "Suzi and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the Central Ohio community and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium family. 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!”
Jack will retain the title of Director Emeritus in retirement. The zoo will host a special weekend dedicated to "Jungle Jack" in October.