The Tivoli Turnhalle was host to quite the crowd of interesting creatures Wednesday, Aug. 22 when Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, came to Auraria. The 65-year-old zookeeper began the show by urging the students assembled to follow in his footsteps, not necessarily as zookeepers or animal advocates, but rather to follow their dreams.
“I live the dream of a lifetime,” Hanna said.
During the presentation, Hanna played short video clips and also introduced the crowd to some wild animals. He started with a snow leopard, native to the Himalayas. He described the tail of a full grown snow leopard.
“When it gets 50 to 60 below zero up there, this cat gets corner of a cave and will put that tail around their body like a coat,” Hanna said.
He later displayed a clouded leopard, and a two toed sloth. On the heels of the sloth’s departure, Hanna showed a clip of Rolling Dog Ranch, which caters to disabled animals.
The grand finale of the show was a fully grown cheetah, the fastest land animal in the world, clocked at 70 miles an hour. The cheetah is also the only cat in existence with non-retractable claws.
Some students were excited that Hanna and his animals visited MSU Denver.
“It’s cool we could have a figure like him come our school,” Kelsey Schippers, a biology major at UCD said. “And to see all the unique animals we normally couldn’t see.”
As the show came to a close, Hanna reiterated on how important it is for students to live their dreams and how he had done what he had dreamed of for the past 49 years.