Tribute to Jack Hannaby Senator Rob Portman
Posted on 2013-12-20
PORTMAN. Madam President, today I wish to honor ``Jungle'' Jack
Hanna for his 35 years of service to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Jack is a world-renowned conservationist, author, television
personality, lifelong adventurer, and champion of the Columbus Zoo.
In 1978, Jack Hanna joined a small zoo in Columbus, Ohio as the executive director. The challenges he faced as director were staggering. The zoo was outdated, the animals had little contact with the outside world, and the attendance was low. Jack worked to increase attendance by offering educational and entertainment programs at the zoo. Under his leadership, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium became the world-class facility it is today. The Columbus Zoo is a state-of-the- art park with exceptional attractions such as Zoombezi Bay waterpark and Jungle Jack's Landing. The park has also expanded its reach outside of Columbus to include The Wilds near Cambridge, OH.
Jack's work as a conservationist has saved endangered animals and habitats around the globe. He helped found Partners in Conservation, and is an active supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, and the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.
Jack was named director emeritus in 1992 of the Columbus Zoo but has continued to spur economic development and promote central Ohio since that time. Jack has made countless television appearances since 1983 on shows such as ``Good Morning America,'' the ``Late Show with David Letterman,'' FOX News programs, and CNN News programs. We still watch him today on his latest syndicated TV series, ``Jack Hanna's Into the Wild.'' I have had the opportunity to meet with Jack over the years and have witnessed his genuine love of animals and wildlife firsthand. He is a passionate advocate for conservation, and his skill for sharing the majesty of nature has opened the minds of millions of readers, viewers, and listeners.
The Columbus Zoo is an asset to central Ohio because of Jack Hanna's work and inspiration. I congratulate him on his service to our State.