Your tip
RadarOnlineRadarOnline
BREAKING NEWS

Alzheimer's Horror: Jack Hanna No Longer Recognizes His Family as They Prepare for His Final Days

jack hanna alzheimers final days death pp
Source: Mega

Jun. 22 2023, Published 1:09 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

American's beloved zookeeper-turned-television personality Jack Hanna is fading fast after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The 76-year-old was first told he had early Alzheimer's in the fall of 2019 — and less than four years later, Jungle Jack no longer recognizes his family, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Article continues below advertisement

Hanna — known for his signature khakis, outback hat, and humorous one-liners — now spends his days lounging on the deck of his lakeside home in Montana. His only caregivers include his wife of 54 years, Suzi, his daughter Kathaleen, and his loyal dog, Brassy.

Suzi primarily cares for him as Kathaleen lives in England and travels nearly 5,000 miles to see her father as they prepare for his last days.

jack hanna alzheimers final days death
Source: Mega
Article continues below advertisement

Over the last few years, Hanna has lost around 20 pounds, and his once-intoxicating expressions have turned to stress and worry. The family addressed their concerns in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch that was published on Wednesday.

Suzi gave examples of how Hanna's mind deteriorated due to the illness.

Article continues below advertisement

She said that the star — who used to be a regular guest on David Letterman in his heyday — had complained that he went blind. The doctor discovered he ended up inserting five contact lenses in each eye.

Suzi said her husband constantly asks if she feeds the dog throughout the day and worries that their home will catch fire. He allegedly has spits of frustration and anger, usually directed at her.

Article continues below advertisement
jack hanna
Source: Mega
Article continues below advertisement

“My husband is still in there somewhere,” Suzi told the outlet. “There are still those sweet, tender moments — you know, pieces of him that made me and the rest of the world fall in love with him. It’s hard. Real hard some days. But he took care of me all those years, and so it’s my turn to take care of him."

The Hanna family shared their struggle to help others going through similar circumstances.

Article continues below advertisement

“If this helps even one other family, it’s more than worth sharing dad’s story,” Kathaleen said. “He spent a lifetime helping everyone he could. He will never know it or understand it, but he is still doing it now.”

Hanna and Suzi fell in love in college, and she's determined to stay by his side — even if that means repeating the same routine, like their daily walks.

Never miss a story — sign up for the RadarOnline.com newsletter to get your daily dose of dope. Daily. Breaking. Celebrity news. All free.

MORE ON:
OMG!
Article continues below advertisement
jack hanna alzheimers final days death
Source: Mega
Article continues below advertisement

"I want to hold on to these walks as long as I can,” Suzi said. “I remember the day this all officially started. The day the doctor told us what it was. I’ve just tried to hang on to the little pieces of Jack since then.”

She said Hanna made her promise not to let the public know about his Alzheimer's diagnosis in 2019.

Article continues below advertisement

“People will think I’m dumb, Sue,” she recalled him telling her. “We can’t tell anyone Sue. Promise me.” Following the secret diagnosis, Hanna began retreating from the spotlight.

“He would have worked until the day he died. He only retired due to the Alzheimer’s,” Kathaleen said. “He was embarrassed by it. He lived in fear the public would find out.”

Article continues below advertisement
hanna
Source: Mega
Article continues below advertisement

His last performance on stage with animals was right before the pandemic in March 2020. Three months later, he revealed his plan to walk away from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium after 42 years. Hanna formally retired on December 31, 2020.

Suzi isn't sure how long she has left with her husband, but she's determined to make that time the best yet.

"The river, the sun, Brassy, our walks. ... That's what we have left," she stated. "The Jack people knew isn't here anymore, but pieces of my husband are. And I'm going to hang onto them for as long as I can."

Advertisement

DAILY. BREAKING. CELEBRITY NEWS. ALL FREE.

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 RADAR ONLINE™️. A DIVISION OF MYSTIFY ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK INC. RADAR ONLINE is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.