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Reptile & Amphibian
News Blog
Keep up with news and features of interest to the reptile and amphibian community on the blog. We cover breaking stories from the mainstream and scientific media, user-submitted photos and videos, and feature articles and photos by Jeff Barringer, Richard Bartlett, and other herpetologists and herpetoculturists.

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Reptile pioneer Bill Haast passes away

By Jeff Barringer
Fri, June 17 2011 at 07:56

Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)

A great man has passed, bill haast led the way for many.
God bless this man.
#1 mike p (Homepage) on 2011-06-17 10:16 (Reply)
Cindy and I have known Bill for over 35 years. Back in the 70's we provided him with Texas diamond backs and became friends over the years.

The last time we saw him was in early 2006 at his house where he was still doing all the things, he had been doing over the years.

Always smiling, but always serious about his reptiles. He will be missed by our entire family and truly a loss to the herping community. A real pioneer in the venom extraction field and a true gentleman in every respect of day to day life.
#1.1 John Cherry (Homepage) on 2011-06-20 08:38 (Reply)
Bill Haast was my idol since I was a boy in the 1960's. I never had a chance to meet him, but have admired him and his work for decades. He was truly a giant among men and has laid the foundation for amazing advances in herpetology, medicine and conservation. Rest in peace, Bill.
#1.2 Michael Hughes on 2011-06-22 16:12 (Reply)
I can't find it on CNN, the Miami papers, etc so I don't know, but it is certainly believable. I mean, he's 100 years old. Never talked to him in person but I've read about and admired him for years.
#2 Varanid on 2011-06-17 12:17 (Reply)
I was born in Ft. Lauderdale in 1970. My Grandmother saw my interest in reptiles are a very early age....1975...I was 5 years old, and took me to the serpentarium. It literally changed my life, and I have had reptiles...snakes in particular, my entire life since.
#3 ShawnC (Homepage) on 2011-06-17 13:49 (Reply)
He was right all along .
There is a race on to now to find new wonder drugs derived from venoms.
And immunity to snakebite was possible .
we will miss you the original snake wrangler.
#4 Bud on 2011-06-17 17:41 (Reply)
NYT Published his obit. It's for real.
#5 Varanid on 2011-06-17 23:21 (Reply)
Bill was a true herpetological pioneer, and a major icon. My grandmother brought me to the Miami Serpentarium back in 1973 for my 13th birthday where Bill autographed his book "Cobras in His Garden" for me. I also went to his facility in Punta Gorda with my herpetological society around 1998. He was such a friendly man too that always had time to talk to people about snakes.

Rest in peace Bill!
#6 Doug Mong on 2011-06-18 01:11 (Reply) here is a link to the bill haast story
#7 Shane Flaskamp on 2011-06-21 09:04 (Reply)
Bill was an icon in herpetology,a very friendly,warm gentleman,whom I 1st met on his last day that he had the Miami Serpetarium open to the public back in 1982.He then showed me how he incubated ball python eggs['take a plastic bag,spray some water in it,place the egg in the bag,poke a needle hole in it,& tack it to the wall'],this was in one of his humid snake rooms.Then I went with my herp club back in 1998 to see him again at his new home in Punta Gorda,Fl.,he was the fountain of youth,just recently recovering from a DBR bite to his hand,that was still swollen.He jumped over 4 foot walls,carrying a load of 50 lbs. of diamondback rattler,walking over an acre or so to show us his way of keeping DBR's.He signed my 'Cobra in his Garden' book & my Miami Serpentarium post cards with enthusiasm & smiled for some photos.A class act always to be remembered.RIP Bill
#8 Dave Powell on 2011-06-22 01:46 (Reply)

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