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Jack Hanna brings his wild friends to the stage at Busch Gardens

Jack Hanna at Busch Gardens
Jack Hanna at Busch Gardens
Sandy Allen

Just back from filming in Africa, Jack Hanna made a weekend stop at Busch Gardens. He has been making yearly appearances at the Williamsburg, Virginia theme park for several years now, and this Examiner is happy to have finally had the chance to take in a show.

“Jungle” Jack Hanna is known worldwide for his fun-loving and energetic method of sharing conservation concerns and animal knowledge. He is Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio and host of “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures,” “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild” and “Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.”

A favorite wherever he goes, Jack Hanna often appears on “Good Morning America” and “The Late Show with David Letterman,” along with some of the most interesting and unique furry, feathered and scaly creatures. His presentation at Busch Gardens was no exception. Along for the ride were animal ambassadors from Busch Gardens and SeaWorld Parks and the Columbus Zoo.

The presentation at Busch Gardens included anecdotes about his recent travels and filming, as well as facts about animals such as their traits and characteristics, natural threats and dangers and conservation efforts on the part of his team and SeaWorld Parks.

Despite having a hoarse voice from so many recent speaking engagements, Jack Hanna gave a fun and educational presentation to a packed audience at the park’s outdoor Teatro di San Marco in the Italy village. I attended the 11:30 show, and I’m sure the other two shows that day were just as jam-packed with fun and information (I just hope he was able to rest his voice for a while!). There was also a breakfast presentation at Castle O’Sullivan and a lunch presentation at Das Festhaus on both Saturday and Sunday.

Check out the photos below for some of the interesting, and quite cute, animal ambassadors that participated in Jack Hanna’s show at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Also, Busch Gardens has a wide variety of unique animals that can be seen on a daily basis. They are in, of all places, Jack Hanna's Wild Reserve, which is located between the Ireland and France areas of the park. Stop by and visit them sometime. To find out more about the animals at Busch Gardens, please visit BuschGardens.com.

Visit Jack Hanna and his wild friends online at JackHanna.com.

Disclosure: The author is part of Busch Gardens’ Ambassador Blogger/Thrill Chaser program. All opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.

Jack Hanna at Busch Gardens
Jack Hanna at Busch Gardens Sandy Allen

Jack Hanna at Busch Gardens

Jack Hanna took some time out of his busy schedule to share some animal facts and conservation information with guests at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

World's largest owl
World's largest owl Sandy Allen

World's largest owl

Busch Gardens animal care experts brought out the animals as Jack Hanna talked about them. This beautifully colored owl is the world's largest. It can take down a deer.

World's smallest owl
World's smallest owl Sandy Allen

World's smallest owl

This cute little guy is the world's smallest owl. It is full grown and fits on a finger. Owls have less bones in their heads than humans, which is why they are able to turn their heads much further than a human.

Albino African porcupine
Albino African porcupine Sandy Allen

Albino African porcupine

A sleepy albino African porcupine – this little guy would not survive two days in the wild because of his unusual color. He would be too easily seen by other animals and predators.

African porcupine
African porcupine Sandy Allen

African porcupine

This is the traditional coloring of an African porcupine. He was very inquisitive and was more interested in checking out the plants on stage than putting on a show.

Jack Hanna speaks at Busch Gardens
Jack Hanna speaks at Busch Gardens Sandy Allen

Jack Hanna speaks at Busch Gardens

Jack Hanna entertained the audience at Italy's Teatro di San Marco Theater. If you are ever able to catch a show, I highly recommend it.

Echidna
Echidna Sandy Allen

Echidna

The echidna, an egg-laying mammal is found in Australia and is closely related to the anteater. Jack Hanna commented that the phrase “egg-laying mammal” was a hard one to say, as mammals generally do not lay eggs. In fact, the echidna is one of only two egg-laying mammals. The other one is the platypus.

African serval
African serval Sandy Allen

African serval

An African serval – this sweet looking feline is an excellent jumper. They are able to jump straight up. Native to Africa, the serval has the longest legs of any cat. The white markings on the back of their ears look like eyes.

Jack Hanna and a lemur
Jack Hanna and a lemur Sandy Allen

Jack Hanna and a lemur

Lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar. They are known as "prosimians," which means "before the primates." They are nocturnal although some may be active during the day.

Clean-up bird
Clean-up bird Sandy Allen

Clean-up bird

I cannot for the life of me remember what this bird is called. I like to call him the "clean-up bird" since he seemed to enjoy picking up plastic bottles and depositing them in the recycling bin.

Harris Hawk
Harris Hawk Sandy Allen

Harris Hawk

This is a Harris hawk, which is part of the raptor family. They hunt in groups and eat small creatures such as birds, lizards and large insects.

Harris hawk flies through arms
Harris hawk flies through arms Sandy Allen

Harris hawk flies through arms

Harris hawks are one of the easiest types to train. This particular one has been trained to fly through the arms of a brave audience participant.

Sloth at Busch Gardens
Sloth at Busch Gardens Sandy Allen

Sloth at Busch Gardens

Everybody loves a sloth. This one looked so soft and cuddly, but rest assured, they have super strong claws and teeth. Interesting fact: they leave their trees once a week to go to the bathroom.

Python at Busch Gardens
Python at Busch Gardens Sandy Allen

Python at Busch Gardens

... and then there was this ... This python had to be carried by four of Busch Gardens’ animal care experts. Honestly, I don’t remember any of the facts about this creature as I was worried that it might decide to slither away. And with me in the third row from the front!

Jack Hanna and python at Busch Gardens
Jack Hanna and python at Busch Gardens Sandy Allen

Jack Hanna and python at Busch Gardens

Jack Hanna gave the python a pat as they walked by. I have to admit, I was kind of glad to see that creature leave the stage. It can be seen in the Jack Hanna's Wild Reserve section of the park.