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

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Brian Barczyk, a world-famous reptile professional whose upbeat movies attracted tens of millions of followers on social media and who starred within the reality TV show “Venom Hunters” on Discovery died on Sunday at his house in Michigan. He was 54.

The trigger was pancreatic most cancers, in response to Stephanie Kent, a consultant for The Reptarium, a reptile zoo that Mr. Barczyk based together with his spouse, Lori Barczyk, in Utica, Mich.

Mr. Barczyk’s love of reptiles started as a boy. He has mentioned his earliest reminiscence was coming throughout a ball python on the Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit.

“I do not forget that prefer it was yesterday, and ever since, I’ve simply been obsessed,” Mr. Barczyk informed the Hollywood Soapbox in 2016. “Nobody 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 season 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 the reptiles in a warehouse at any given level, Mr. Barczyk informed the Detroit Free Press in 2015. His clients included Saul Hudson, higher referred to as Slash, the guitarist from Weapons N’ Roses.

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

On the time of his demise, Mr. Barczyk’s following on YouTube had grown to greater than 5 million, whereas his TikTok account has more than 7 million followers, together with an account on Instagram with 1.7 million.

Requested as soon as on Reddit to call his favourite python, he wrote in response within the Ask Me Something thread: “I simply can’t decide. It’s like asking a Mother to choose their favourite little one. 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. Within the present, Mr. Barczyk was considered one of a number of consultants who traveled to far-flung places to reap venom from the world’s most toxic snakes.

Brian Henry Barczyk, who was raised by his mom and stepfather, Karen and Mike Miller, was born Sept. 6, 1969. He’s survived by his spouse, and their kids, Jade Albrecht, 31, and Noah Barczyk, 24, in addition to two grandchildren.

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