Animal expert Hanna coming to Syracuse
If you go:
What: Jack Hanna
When: Feb. 11, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Goldstein Auditorium
How much: $5 with student ID
Jack Hanna has done it all. He’s explored the seven continents, revamped a now nationally famous zoo, cared for 500-pound tigers and entertained David Letterman.
And on Feb. 11, Hanna will appear on the Goldstein Auditorium stage, bringing with him a passion for environmental conservation and a clouded leopard cub.
The event, organized by the Society for Conservation Biology, has been in the works since September, when current society president Sarah Sumoski, a junior conservation biology major, contacted Hanna via his Web site.
‘Hanna’s goals are to preserve species and to ensure that with human interactions, we are keeping the world pristine,’ Sumoski said. ‘He is an important role model for the Earth.’
Hanna, known as Jungle Jack, has spent a lifetime traveling the world. Born in Knoxville, Tenn., he developed an early affinity for animals, working for his family’s veterinarian. Following his graduation from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, Hanna began work as at the Central Florida Zoo.
From there, he moved onto the crumbling Columbus Zoo in Ohio, where he spent 14 years rebuilding it, making it a nationally recognized institution, according to Hanna’s Web site.
Since 1985, Hanna has appeared regularly on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman,’ ‘Larry King Live’ and numerous other talk and entertainment shows. His nationally syndicated exploration show ‘Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures’ began airing in 1993, along with the corresponding kid’s magazine.
His appearance on the Syracuse campus will allow students to learn about the Earth’s creatures in an interesting and inspiring way, said Hanna’s representative, Kate Oliphint.
This ideal attracted the Society for Conservation Biology, a Syracuse organization focused on critical environmental issues, to Hanna. Past events have included trips to the Bronx and Toronto zoos and most recently, a trip during winter break to Ecuador to work in wildlife reserves.
‘Hanna can fully present important issues facing the Earth,’ Sumoski said. ‘Some of these animals he’s bringing aren’t going to be around much longer if we continue our current ways.’
Sumoski expects Goldstein to sell out – roughly 1,500 seats – and is planning on including a large television screen to be mounted next to the stage so that even those in the back can get close up looks at Hanna and his animals. As of now, he is expected to bring a cheetah, clouded leopard cub, dingo, wallaby, penguin and a macaw.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and Hanna will be begin speaking at 7 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer period. He will autograph merchandise following the event.
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