Parents' Guide to

Jack Hanna's Into the Wild

By Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Animal pro skims over tricky conservation issues.

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While she show offers interesting information (for example, one episode talks about how to tell the difference between black and white rhinos), the overall feeling is that there's something missing. That Hanna is a strong cheerleader for animal conservation and educating kids about animals is without doubt -- but there's a difference between being a cheerleader and being an apologist.

Hanna routinely dances around more substantive issues. For example, in an episode in which Kenyan school children are brought to a wildlife refuge to learn about the highly endangered bongo, Hanna spends a lot of time talking about how it's important to get the local kids on board with conservation -- but he never mentions why. He talks about poaching, but not why it continues to be such a problem. And he talks about a tribe that has traditionally raised cattle but is now switching to camels and sheep because of global-warming induced drought -- but doesn't mention that these people are subsistence farmers. And there's really no reason -- given the show's target school-age audience -- not to talk about social issues like poverty and their impact on animal conservation

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