Brian Barczyk, a well-known reptile expert celebrated for his enthusiasm for reptiles in social media content, has passed away after a struggle with pancreatic cancer.
Barczyk, the founder of The Reptarium, a reptile zoo based in Utica, Michigan, passed away as announced by the zoo on Monday via social media. Barczyk’s battle with pancreatic cancer began with his diagnosis on February 27, 2023, according to PEOPLE.
The Reptarium’s statement commemorated Barczyk, describing him as more than the guiding light of the organization, emphasizing his fervent passion for reptiles and wildlife, coupled with a steadfast dedication to education that touched countless hearts and minds globally.
The statement continued, expressing the loss of an exceptional individual, a visionary, a mentor, and a friend.
It acknowledged the immeasurable void left by Brian’s absence for those who had the privilege of working alongside him.
Despite the profound grief, the statement found solace in the memories and lasting impact of Brian’s work, assuring that he would be deeply missed but never forgotten.
Barczyk, aged 54, succumbed to pancreatic cancer, just over a week after sharing a poignant farewell video with his extensive YouTube following of more than 5 million subscribers.
Brian Barczyk thanked his wife in a farewell video
Barczyk, a prominent figure with over 7.2 million followers on TikTok and 5 million on YouTube, shared a poignant farewell in a heart-wrenching video addressed to his audience. Titled “This is Goodbye,” the 16-minute clip was uploaded to his widely followed YouTube channel, where he revealed to his 5.2 million followers that his year-long battle against stage 4 pancreatic cancer was drawing to a painful close.
In the video, Barczyk expressed gratitude for the transformative journey he experienced, acknowledging the profound impact it had on his life. Despite the challenges of his cancer treatment and the accompanying highs and lows, he spoke about the collective hope that they could overcome the illness.
Expressing readiness for what lay ahead, Barczyk, tearfully reflecting on the difficulties of the past year, stated, “It was a tough year. It was so painful, the pain was incredible, the sickness was incredible, the treatment was incredible, everything about it was so bad.”
Despite the health struggles, Barczyk, acknowledging his wife’s unwavering support in his final days, referred to himself as “the lucky one.”
Brian Barczyk owned over 30,000 snakes
Barczyk initially gained acclaim through his participation in Discovery Channel’s Venom Hunters in 2016. Additionally, he found success as the host of a thriving social media presence of over 13 million subscribers.
Barczyk was the visionary behind establishing the Reptarium Reptile Zoo and the upcoming LegaSea Aquarium.
His extensive collection of over 100 animals included 30,000 snakes which made him the owner of the world’s third-largest snake collection.