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Friday, January 2, 2015

Animal magnetism

Children’s book author James Beverly once said “You can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

Writing about animals takes a special talent, and Jack Hanna, born this day in 1947, not only has the talent but also the expertise in the wild animal kingdom to have made himself into one of the world’s leaders in this field.

Director Emeritus of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo, a facility he literally raised from a rundown, second-rate operation into one of the best in the U.S., if not the world, Hanna is not only an expert on the animal kingdom but also in doing public relations and writing on behalf of it.  Hanna's live animal demonstrations on Good Morning America and David Letterman have brought and continue to bring attention to his beloved zoo and, of course, himself.

The author of several books and many articles in every type of publication has come a long way from his college days in Ohio when he was a fledgling journalist on the college newspaper staff and nearly got himself expelled for keeping wild ducks in his dorm room and then a donkey in his fraternity house shed.
 Jack Hanna & friend

“The world is the true classroom,” Hanna said.  “The most rewarding and important type of learning is through experience; seeing something with our own eyes.”

The world as a classroom works for any writer.  Know your surroundings and you always will have plenty of material.  Know about the world’s inhabitants, whether they be people or animals, and you are doubly armed in what you are presenting through your words. 

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