Residents, staff members and special guests of The Stayton at Museum Way retirement community went wild for the most recent Red Carpet Speaker Series™ event with America’s most beloved naturalist Jack Hanna and some of his animal friends. Most have seen his interesting and entertaining appearances on popular shows including "Good Morning America," "Larry King Live" and "The Late Show With David Letterman," but guests at this exclusive event had the chance to see him up close and in person with a meet and greet opportunity and photo-taking session at The Stayton. Hanna brought a variety of his friends with him, some of which were more friendly-looking than others and included an American alligator, a porcupine, a ring tail lemur, penguins, different kinds of owls, flamingos, a fox and a Kinkajou among others. He spent time discussing his unique adventures learning about such interesting animals in their natural environments. The Stayton community was thrilled to welcome him to Fort Worth and meet some of his furry, feathery and scaly friends as he talked about the importance of caring for animals.

“It was a terrific and unique experience for us all at The Stayton community to meet such an amazing and renowned animal adventurer,” said Scott Polzin, executive director for The Stayton at Museum Way. “Jack Hanna has such a genuine enthusiasm and love for all animals, and he certainly left us with a refreshing appreciation for them as well. 

Hanna’s national recognition started during his remarkable work as director of Columbus Zoo in Ohio when he transformed it into a model facility and made it a household name. He later became a regular guest on national talk shows and had success writing books including his autobiography "Monkeys on the Interstate" and others for children such as "Let’s Go to the Petting Zoo with Jungle Jack." The zoologist’s popularity increased and led him to have his own show, “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures,” which now reaches 95 percent of U.S. television households weekly and is watched in 60 countries. In addition, he has other regular shows that air every Saturday, Into the Wild and Wild Countdown to provide viewers with insight into the protection and conservation of some of the planet’s most precious and endangered species.

Inspired by Hanna’s message and his work in wildlife conservation, The Stayton announced a special adoption of a mountain lion through the Fort Worth Zoo at the event. Representatives joined the rest of the guests at The Stayton to present a personalized adoption certificate and brought stuffed animal mountain lions with them to commemorate the occasion and take photos with attendees. 

“It was great to hear directly from the world’s authority on our animal kingdom and learn about the way all of Jack Hanna’s shows, guest appearances and books are rooted in his true passion – encouraging people to care about animals,” said Polzin. “He has fulfilled a personal calling in his tremendous and exciting career, and we were glad The Stayton could be a part of his journey in educating the public.”


Images courtesy of BMAXX Enterprises, Bruce Maxwell photography