If you don’t know who Jack Hannah is, you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 20 years. I’m going to bet you at least have seen him on Letterman, Larry King, or Good Morning America in his safari khakis accompanied by an incredible big cat, or some other exotic animal. I met Jack years ago when we were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios) and we were talking about some television projects and I was blown away by him then and have been ever since.
I got to spend a couple of days with Jack and the unbelievably talented team at the Columbus Zoo last week and the reality of the man, and his team, is far bigger, more potent and more visionary than even his well-earned public reputation. This is a team with a clear vision not only about their zoo, but also for how humans and all other beings can have a relationship. It’s not sentimental. The fact is that because of human encroachment and other environmental issues a lot of species may not be able to make it in the wild over the next couple of decades. Tigers are particularly vulnerable as are rhinos and several species of great ape. By developing a zoo, and other extended opportunities for the public, with the philosophy that people need to be close to animals, understand them and develop a balanced relationship while the animals are also deeply respected, The Columbus Zoo has set a standard for how the evolution of zoos everywhere could be in the future.
Now, the project we were up there to talk about is still a gleam in the eye of the visionary folks at the Columbus Zoo and the leadership of the team we have been invite to join. But, along with our good friends at ORCA Consulting, and Integrated Insight and courtesy of Tim Baker at Baker-Barrios Architecture, we are really excited about the potential to be involved in a great new opportunity at the Columbus Zoo.
All that AND…I got to have my picture taken with a beautiful Warthog!