Jack Hanna visits Arizona to film show, talk about zoos

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By Chloe Nordquist By Chloe Nordquist

PHOENIX -- Animal expert Jack Hanna was in town this weekend to film for "Into the Wild."

Hanna has been working with and alongside animals for more than 35 years.

"That's what I've been trying to do all my life is, with passion, to teach people why the animals are so important to our world today," Hanna said. "Our world has changed."

Hanna, host of "Into the Wild," came to Arizona to be a part of a sheep relocation project that happens once a year here. The project is paid for by private donors and from money raised from hunting tags.

He also came to visit Bearizona Wildlife Park and Wildlife World Zoo.

"Today, zoos are the biggest recreation in America -- 182 million people last year, bigger than pro football and NASCAR," Hanna said.

Most of the zoos in America were shut down in the '40s and '50s.

"That's not the case today," Hanna said. "Unless you touch the heart, touch the mind, we can't save these creatures."

There has been a growth in interest in zoos, however, they are still subject to a lot of controversy.

Hanna said 98 percent of animals at zoos don't come from the wild.