Jack Hanna will retire from Columbus Zoo after 40 years at end of 2020

Hanna will retire Dec. 31

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Friday, June 12, 2020
Jack Hanna will retire from Columbus Zoo after 40 years at end of 2020
FILE: Jack Hanna is planning to retire from the Columbus Zoo after 40 years.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After more than 40 years at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Jack Hanna will officially retire at the end of 2020.

The Columbus Zoo said in a statement Thursday that after serving tirelessly as both director and director emeritus, Hanna would be retiring on December 31.

The zoo announced Hanna's retirement in a tweet, saying Hanna was channeling his energy into a new role.

"As I approach my mid-70s with more than four decades at the Columbus Zoo, I believe it is time to wind down and officially step back while CEO Tom Stalf and the Zoo's great leadership team continue to guide the Zoo into the future. Together with many friends and partners, we've come a long way to make the world a better place for people and wildlife!" Hanna said.

Although he is stepping away from his role in the public eye, Hanna will remain the director emeritus and promises to be the zoo's No. 1 fan, WSYX reported.

"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 downtime with our family along the way!" he said.