Jack Hanna is the Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and the host of Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown and Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild television shows.
Primatologist Jane Goodall's recent statement calling for the closing of zoos and aquariums such as Sea World obviously has big money wildlife theme parks very nervous. Firing back with their side of the debate is Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus (which means now retired) of the Columbus Zoo, through a Time.com feature story penned by Hanna entitled, Jack Hanna: What Zoo Critics Don’t Understand, a one-sided dialogue of pro-zoo and pro-aquarium absurdity. Isn't it funny that so often those who possess, let's say, cagey attitudes towards human and animal rights believe it is the rest of us who don't 'understand' something, and if we could just find a way to understand, then we'd see things their way. This weak and quite scattered opposing view offered by Hanna begins its argument against animal rights supporters and their efforts to free wild life from their theme park imprisonment by first declaring just how popular zoos and aquariums are with folks. Oh well, gee, say no more Jack. Popular? Slavery was pretty popular with some folks too, perhaps we should rethink that whole abolition thing? Do go on. And on Hanna did just that.
Realizing quickly the only direction this lopsided piece could possibly go from that genius insight, I bit down hard and finished the article, which to me read more like a paid endorsement from those establishments that profit greatly from the abduction, caging, and exploitation of defenseless animals. I made it all the way to the point where the popular wildlife celebrity, whose biggest talent appears to be how he makes so many immediately see how the world was such a better place when Steve Irwin was in it, actually said that animals need to be in cages because there's not enough room for them in the wild. Here is the segment written by Jack Hanna as posted on time.com.
"Critics say the only place animals belong is in the wild, but those boundaries are shrinking each day. Having traveled the world, the only places I consider truly “wild” are Antarctica, parts of the Amazon and some places in Africa. Even in Africa, the “wild” places tend to be national parks with guarded boundaries. Animals face many challenges, including habitat loss, poaching, severe weather, and war. The “wild” is not necessarily the idyllic place people imagine..."
And you have just the 'idyllic place' for animals at your Columbus zoo, don't you Jack?