Home > "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild Live" - Lessons We Must All Learn
"Jack Hanna's Into the Wild Live" - Lessons We Must All Learn

Short Description of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild Live" - Lessons We Must All Learn

at Proctors

State Street, Schenectady


Few people in the world have done more to bring nature into our living rooms and call our attention to the plight of endangered species worldwide than Jack Hanna. Hanna, now the director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium ( https://www.columbuszoo.org) brought “Into the Wild Live” to Proctors, a family friendly show, that combines humor, a chance to see rare and exotic animals, and the drum beat of a message all wrapped into one. No wonder his show “Into the Wild Live” captured an Emmy its first year out.


Hanna is in good company: Steve Irwin relentlessly called our attention to the perils our animals face. Locally, Steve Caporizzo has engaged in a lifelong battle to help strays and stop domestic animal abuse. Steve Smith and Alayne Marker, who run Rolling Dog Rescue, have dedicated their lives to give a forever home to abused and disabled animals ( http://www.rollingdogfarm.org/). But when it comes down to the slaughter to near extinction of elephants and rhinos and other animals most of us have never even heard of, Jack Hanna is right there, shedding light on the world wide problems our four-legged friends face, with a passion and tenacity you need to see and experience. He brought the struggles of our wildlife front and center to his show “Into the Wild Live” at Proctors. The audience was packed with kids and adults who came to see animals they most likely have never seen before, and may very well never see again. Hanna is their messenger, with a passion you need to see to experience.


Hanna started the show with one clear message: “Always follow your dream, kids. We all have one.” Hanna, a native of Tennessee, realized by age eleven his dream was to work in a zoo. He would volunteer at the local zoo, at a time zoos were not very popular. “Today,” he says, “going to the zoo is the most popular activity in our country. Forget football and NASCAR and all that. More people go to the zoo than any other destination.”


His greatest moment: The gorillas in Rwanda. To see the gorillas requires a guide, a long day trip into the jungle in 110 degree plus heat, and with a whole bunch of nasty bugs flying around your head. “It doesn't matter who you are—it doesn't matter if you're the leader of the free world, this President or that President—you are allowed to see the gorillas sixty minutes, one hour, and then you must leave. And by the way, the real big male gorilla that weighs 500 plus pounds? Do not stare him in the eye. It's a threat. And I highly suggest you shift your eyes to the side immediately if you catch him staring at you.”


We were also introduced to Rolling Dog Animal Rescue, the final home for unwanted pets, those who have been horribly abused, left to die, or even born with natural birth defects. “How animals can still love us after what we have done to some of them, I do not know.” The Rolling Dog Animal Sanctuary is the work of Steve Smith and Alayne Marker, who built a forever home for those most likely to be euthanized. They left their corporate jobs to open the sanctuary in Montana, but then moved the sanctuary to New Hampshire where veterinarians are a wee bit closer (visit them at http://www.rollingdogfarm.org/).



The presentation was a live animal presentations interspersed with videos, including an absolutely hilarious blooper video. The audience was treated to penguins (“Penguins are monogamous and pick one partner for life and stay with that partner. Most are warm blooded. They can't survive in the cold, except for the penguins with lots of blubber. And always remember, the South Pole gets the penguins and the North Pole gets the polar bears); We also saw an alligator, a king cobra, cheetahs, a rare black leopard and the list goes on and on. Some animals, such as the big cats, are near extinction not because of hunting and poaching (as in the case of the Rhino), but because the mother eats her young almost as soon as they are born.


After two hours, Jack Hanna said, “I know we're over schedule, and if some of you want to leave, that's ok. I won't get insulted and I know it's cold out. But the show will go on, even if there's just three of you here, because I just love this stuff.”


It was Gandhi who said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I can't help but think of these words when I hear about Rolling Dog or Caporizzo or Hanna. The moral actions of those who fight for those unable to fight for themselves is an endeavor we shall all learn from. These lessons must be passed on to our children and all kids should see this show to learn about those they share the planet with, and the many must listen to the few.


--Richard DiMaggio, didyouweekend.com


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Address: Proctors, State Street, Schenectady

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