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Brian Barczyk, a Reptile Evangelist on YouTube and TV, Dies at 54

Brian Barczyk, a Reptile Evangelist on YouTube and TV, Dies at 54


Brian Barczyk, a reptile skilled whose upbeat movies attracted hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and who starred within the reality TV show “Venom Hunters,” died on Sunday at his residence in Michigan. He was 54.

The trigger was pancreatic most cancers, stated Stephanie Kent, a consultant of the Reptarium, a reptile zoo that Mr. Barczyk based along with his spouse, Lori Barczyk, in Utica, Mich.

Mr. Barczyk’s love of reptiles started when he was a boy. He had stated that his earliest reminiscence was coming throughout a ball python on the Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit.

“I keep in mind that prefer it was yesterday, and ever since, I’ve simply been obsessed,” he advised the web journal Hollywood Soapbox in 2016. “No one taught me this obsession. I at all times inform folks, ‘I used to be born with a reptile gene as a result of it’s simply in me.’ I spent each summer time catching garter snakes out within the native woods.”

A local of southeast Michigan, Mr. Barczyk spent many years commercially breeding snakes. His firm, BHB Reptiles, had tens of hundreds of them in a warehouse at any given level, he advised The Detroit Free Press in 2015. His prospects included Saul Hudson, higher referred to as Slash, the Guns N’ Roses guitarist.

Mr. Barczyk’s rise to prominence started in 2008 with the launch of an academic YouTube channel, SnakeBytesTV, in addition to posts on his private internet web page. The movies are cheerful how-tos on numerous snake-related subjects, together with some by which Mr. Barczyk explains learn how to safely breed and transport them, learn how to cope with snake bites and why, opposite to in style opinion, the bites aren’t so unhealthy (relying on the snake).

His following on YouTube had grown to greater than 5 million at his demise, whereas his TikTok account has more than seven million followers. He additionally had an Instagram account with 1.7 million followers.

Asked as soon as on Reddit to call his favourite python, Mr. Barczyk wrote in response within the Ask Me Anything thread: “I simply can’t choose. It’s like asking a Mom to select their favourite youngster. I really like all of them.”

His greatest break got here when he was tapped to star in “Venom Hunters,” which ran for six episodes on the Discovery Channel in 2016. In the present, Mr. Barczyk was considered one of a number of consultants who traveled to far-flung areas to reap venom from the world’s most toxic snakes.

Brian Henry Barczyk was born on Sept. 6, 1969, and raised by his mom and stepfather, Karen and Mike Miller. He is survived by his spouse and their youngsters, Jade Albrecht and Noah Barczyk, in addition to two grandchildren.

On Jan. 5, in a video posted on his YouTube web page, Mr. Barczyk introduced that he was beginning hospice care. He titled the video “This Is Goodbye.”



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