DCCC Hosts ‘Jungle’ Jack Hanna as Part of STEM Celebration

Jack Hanna

April 23, 2013 – You don’t often find a host of animals visiting the Brinkley Gym on the Davidson County Community College campus, but thanks to a visit from America’s favorite zookeeper “Jungle” Jack Hanna – that’s just what happened. 

Hanna, along with an array of exotic animals including two armadillos, a cheetah, a penguin, two foxes, exotic birds, an owl, a penguin, a sloth and more, visited the campus as part of the college’s annual science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) celebration. Last year’s celebration included Jeff Corwin, animal and nature conservationist who is best known for his television programs on the “Animal Planet.”

Hanna, who turned a love of animals into his life’s work, has spent his career exploring the globe as one of the most visible and respected animal ambassadors in the world. His visit to DCCC is just one of Hanna’s many efforts to spread the message of animal conservation. In fact, his animal enthusiasm and hands-on approach to wildlife conservation has won him widespread acclaim as an author, television personality, conservationist, and as director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio.

During his visit, Hanna presented an assortment of wildlife – explaining their habits and their unique adaptations – to a packed crowd, and also took time to meet and visit with current Zoo and Aquarium Science students. He offered students advice on how to be successful in a zoo career, and also shared three words of wisdom from his father that he keeps close to his heart: “Hard work and enthusiasm.” Hanna also shared his professional experience, and emphasized the importance of having a strong work ethic. 

“Jack Hanna is truly an incredible person,” says Mark Stevens, faculty in the Zoo and Aquarium Science program at DCCC. “With all of his life experiences and his world travels, I never thought he would be so humble – but he absolutely was. He took time to meet and visit with students and guests, and signed autographs. He was there until late in the evening spending time with our students. He loves sharing his message; his love of animals; the conservation of animals and their habitats. It was a remarkable experience for both our students and the community.”

Jack Hanna with OwlJack Hanna with 1st Year ZASJack Hanna with 2nd Year ZAS


*Editor’s Note: Pictured in the first photo is Jack Hanna speaking to the audience at DCCC. In the second picture is Hanna with an assistant who is displaying an owl. In the third picture are first year Zoo and Aquarium Science students with Hanna, his team and a cheetah. The fourth picture includes Hanna and his team with second year ZAS students. 

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at davidsonccc.edu.