Animal Man 

Jack Hanna always looks on the bright side of wildlife

Jack Hanna
Fri. Feb. 15, 3 p.m., Sat. Feb. 16, 11 a.m.
Price included with general admission
Gaillard Auditorium
77 Calhoun St.

Jack Hanna has an incredible passion for his life's work: animal conservation. He loves to talk about animals and interact with them, so it's no wonder this is the fourth time he's been invited to SEWE.

The silver-haired Hanna's no slouch at giving presentations, either. He takes his accessible naturalist talks all over the country, and he's familiar to millions as a guest on The Late Show and Good Morning America. He's also the host of Animal Adventures and recently shot a reality show, Into the Wild. He's director emeritus of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, famed for its state-of-the-art facilities and educational programs. He's also taken quite a shine to SEWE.

"Nothing compares to it. It's not just the magnificent artwork; it's the whole thing," he says. "A lot of these expos are set up for adults, but SEWE's fun for the entire family. Whatever income or age group you're from, there's something here for you."

Hanna's shows will be held in the Gaillard Auditorium on Friday and Saturday. Anyone with SEWE tickets or VIP badges can attend, but if you want to get a ringside seat, we advise you to get there early — Hanna fans usually start lining up an hour before the start time, with doors opening half an hour before the show.

The captivating presentations will include video footage of gorillas from Hanna's recent adventures in Rwanda. The scheduled menagerie of animals he'll be bringing onstage includes birds of prey, serval cats from East Africa, a spotted leopard, cheetahs, a penguin, and a flamingo. He'll also stick around for people who want to ask him questions or get his autograph.

While the exotic animals are undoubtedly the highlight of Hanna's show, it's his zeal that really makes this such an entertaining affair. No matter how ferocious or endangered his critters might be, Hanna gives their world a positive angle — looking on the bright side of wildlife.

2008 Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

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