Bill Haast
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Bill Haast died Wednesday, he was 100. Haast remained director of Miami Serpentarium Laboratories near Punta Gorda until his death.

The original Miami Serpentarium, located south of Miami, was in operation from 1947 to 1984. Guests would pay admission to watch Haast extract venom from snakes. Haast, a pioneer in extracting large quantities of venom for research, began the practice when he was a boy.

Soon after opening the Serpentarium, Haast began injecting himself with different types of cobra venom in order to develop immunity.


Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press
Published in New Haven Register on Jun. 17, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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221 entries
February 5, 2021
I have fond memories of the SERPENTARIUM when I was seven.
Eddie
Friend
December 29, 2020
I saw Mr. Haast give a show with a spitting cobra when I was 15. It was amazing!! I am now 62 and this is a memory I will always carry with me. Loved the serpentarium facility. It was a great experience.
Sandy Swain
July 29, 2020
David Jason Silver
Student
February 1, 2020
I worked for Bill Haast in 1983-1984 when the Serpentarium was in it's final year. He was truly a remarkable man, and I remember him fondly.
Paula Rayner
October 4, 2019
What we looked like then.
I'm very late in expressing my condolences, as I only read of Bill's death today. His daughter Nia was my friend way back in elementary school.

My twin sister, Carole and I visited both the Serpentarium and the Haast home many times. We rode huge turtles in the yard.
Cathye Baughan Letterman
April 8, 2019
A legendary man and a true pioneer. Mr Haast lived an extraordinary life. The kind of life movies are made of.
I regret never having met him!
RIP Mr Haast
Bobby Lee
February 28, 2019
Tim Cuthriell
March 14, 2018
I had a dream about Bill Hasst last night as I was sleeping here in Hamilton, New Zealand. I remember growing up in Miami, Fla. and as a teenager I would go hunting snakes in the Everglades and sell them to Bill. I got bit by a water mocasin in 1953 and was rushed to Bill's Serpentarium where he injected me and saved my life. I have never forgotten him and often tell my friends how we used to talk together about snakes and what he did with his work. I remember riding motorcycles with his son Bill Jr. He was my friend and a great person in my life. I hope I live to be 100 as he did. I am 81 now and we have no snakes in New Zealand.
Mr. Hasst was my hero and I still miss him very much. God Bless you Mr. Hasst. Thank you, jim crain sr. Hamilton, New Zealand
jim crain sr
July 12, 2017
As a child growing up in Miami, the Serpentarium was always a popular school field trip. Bill Haast was a great man who left a wonderful legacy. Thank you for your work and for providing your blood to be used as a base for anti-venom serum.
May 20, 2017
Thanks for your studies & dedication to the snake species and wanted to share with the world your time was meant to be here on Earth to teach us to love understand and appreciate snakes and Wildlife.
Penny Mitchell
April 26, 2017
I was very saddened to hear about Bill's passing. I always wanted to meet him, ever since I was a small child because of my fascination with snakes. I finally met and interviewed Bill on August 7, 2000, where he helped me with my herpetology thesis I was writing for the University of Phoenix. It was a day I will always remember. In life you seldom get to know and meet your heroes. Thanks for your help and friendship. Hope to see you when I get to Heaven.
Robert Lyons
January 19, 2017
Dr. Haast was a wonderful human being. I hope he is in heaven today. During the 1950's I remember many TV News broadcasts following the Dr's car through traffic with a police escort on his way to inject some suffering soul with some of his own blood as an antidote for a poisonous snake bite. His research saved untold thousands of lives.
Joseph Papierz Jr
November 6, 2015
My Best Photo For You Sir
I remember Mr. Haast saying "No one should fear death, it's such a relief" (after he'd been being bitten by a Krait).
He was a fabulous man. He took my fascination of snakes where I would never have taken it. I still run from Garter snakes but my fascination of them still remains thanks to you Sir, (especially the deadlier species).
God Bless Your Soul Sir.
Charles W. Sutton, US Navy-Retired
Charles Sutton
October 9, 2015
He and the Serpentarium were a legend. Was there many times. Back then, Monkey Jungle, Parrot Jungle, Coral Gardens, Serpentarium, (further away but equal: weeki watchi, cypress gardens
September 2, 2015
Also as a child growing up in Miami, every year in the 60's-70's a school field trip to see Bill at the serpentarium. His talks and demonstrations were a master class on the true nature and value of venomous snakes. His educational and life saving contributions to the world are unequaled due to his pioneering work-labor of love handling the deadliest reptiles known. It was a privilege to watch, learn from and talk with him.
Nick Z
August 30, 2015
I remember reading about Bill Haast when I was growing up. I have always had an interest in reptiles, eventually keeping monitors and several other species of lizards.Bill Hasst was a part of my growing up.i know he will be missed. - Don Davis (New Iberia, LA)
Don Davis
January 21, 2015
I want to thank this wonderful man for saving my life many years ago. You will always be one of my heroes. Rest In Peace, Bill.
Enrique Ramirez,Jr.
October 15, 2014
Bill Haast was a national treasure. His work not only ultimately saved many lives, but enlightened throngs of people about some of the most maligned creatures on the planet. There are countless people working with and studying venomous snakes, but almost all of them find some personal reverence and humility when they hear Bill Haast's name brought up. Bill's work, and his sacrifices will live far longer than most those who have and will benefit from his life and his work.
Mark Nelson Ph.D.
June 23, 2014
As a very young boy growing up in Miami during the '40s, '50s, and early '60s, I often visited the Sepentarium with my family and friends during family outings and school field trips. The large concrete Cobra along side Dixie Hwy was a familiar icon recognized by many.

Once I was even encouraged by Dr Haast to pose with a large Indigo snake around my neck. Unfortunately I was too young to fully appreciate the research Dr Haast was committed to although I was very impressed with how he'd milk the venomous Cobras. I also recall the time when he was bitten by a Black Mamba. I believe it was during that experience he spent several days in an iron lung battling for his life. A life he unselfishly devoted and often risked toward the research for the scientific betterment of mankind

The world is a much emptier place without Dr Haast.

In closing we must all remember that it's good to have an end to journey towards but its the "Journey" that truly matters in the end. Sincere condolences to his entire family.

RIP Dr Haast - You'll be missed by many...OFTEN!!!

Ben GODWIN
(USAF Retired)
October 22, 2013
Wow, from all the entries you can easily see how Dr. Haast left memorable impressions. I saw him many times in the late 60's because I lived close to the Serpentarium. Dumping the snakes out on the table right in front of me, catching them & milking them was exciting and amazing to this 11 year old girl. Through the years (I'm now 57) I have often remembered this special time in my life...although I hate venomous snakes I have enjoyed owning many non-venomous and especially love the beautiful Indigos I used to see in south FL. Thanks Dr. Haast...you are a true legend.
Laura Mosley
September 27, 2013
I remember touring his facilities a number of times when I was a younger and watching him work with King Cobras. I have never forgotten these experiences and never will.
Dr. Wright Pearson
September 19, 2013
If it were not for Mr Haast I would not have the understanding or love of all snakes. His was the first book read cover to cover. Your sprit live in all who seek understanding of snakes. Russell Taylor in Texas
Russell Taylor
September 15, 2013
I saw him in '78 in Miami, was very impressed!!! He autographed a book for my two sons that we have cherished!!! During a snake milking demonstration, the huge moccasin got away!!! My great big husband knocked me and the boys down trying to get away!!! Haast had an enclosed area with 30+ types of snakes in trees and bushes, it was a game to see if you could find them all, we played but going to the tree shaded parking lot was traumatic!!! We kept crouching, looking in the trees in case any had escaped!!! He was a wonderful man, going to bedsides to use his own blood for victims if they didn't have the serum!!! Our lives were enriched by his knowledge and contributions!!!
August 7, 2013
I used to take snakes to Bill in his office and we had coffee and later took the snakes back in the bathroom shower. I have great memories. I will always remember him.
Caroline
July 6, 2013
May you rest in peace boss. My first job working for you and Nancy at the Serp was life defining.
Still the best job I ever had, working hard each day and having the time of my life with the snakes and animals from 1978 to 1981, just the best. May you rest in peace and my sincere condolences to Nancy and family.
Dan Vivian
May 30, 2013
God bless you Bill. You are a pioneer and a visionary. Your memory will live on.
Virgil Dailey Jr
May 20, 2013
I'm trying to find Bill's daughters. We lived across the street in South Miami in the 50s. Contact: Charlie - 352-442-3395.
Charles Cook
March 24, 2013
I met Bill in 1965. I was 12. My father bought his book "Cobras in his Garden" for me. He autographed it with a beautifully written comment about loving herpetology. It is a treasured possession. I feel honored to have met him.
Marc Schansinger
March 23, 2013
I thank Bill Haast for inspiring me to develop
a partial immunity to snakebites. On one occasion, it clearly saved my life. Over the years I was bitten 91 times by venomous snakes and never needed antivenin.
Paul Ennis
February 2, 2013
My sister worked for Mr. Haast in the 60s, and I have always credited him with awakening my love for the bio sciences. THank you, BIll, for everything you gave the world,
Melody Szadkowski
December 24, 2012
randy adams
November 30, 2012
Thank you, Bill. I visited the Serpentarium first in 1974 and it was always a must on my later visits of 1977 and 1978. On the last visit, I saw the King Cobras, on a Sunday.
L Stevens
November 17, 2012
I visited Miami serpentarium numerous times in the sixties and seventys he probably is the reason I enjoy going to reptile shows when I was youngerhesaved numerous livesmy son would have loved to have met him God bless all of your family
al worrall
August 16, 2012
I went to the Serpentarium in the 70's and saw Bill milk the King Cobra. The image of the largest venomous snake rearing up was something I shall never forget.

Like Bill, I grew up in Northern, NJ and used to catch Garter snakes as a child as well. However, seeing Bill in action in Miami really increased my fascination with the Reptiles.

This is truly a man who saved lives with his own blood. I believe Bill was alsothe pioneer for many of the snake handlers who came later. That includes the late Steve Irwin, who was uncanny in his expertise with venomous snakes such as the Black Mamba.

I am currently working with a couple of Biotech companies right now who are trying to bring snake venom based products to market, for CNS indications.

Nancy, you were truly blessed to be married to such a great man.
Jeffrey Bernstein
April 28, 2012
My mom took me to the Serpentarium in
1960...I was 8 and Bill scared the hell out
of me with all those cobras and coral snakes!
steve lewis
April 23, 2012
im gunna miss bill haast ive been into reptiles all my life and it just grew into a obsession bill haast is someone ive looked up to since i was a little kid and will always look up to him as the greatest reptile handler in the world god bless
aaron s
March 2, 2012
Dear Miss Nancy, My name is John Haynes and I knew you and Bill in SLC, Ut. I was hired by Bill to paint his condo in the highrise Condo project and your Serpentarium there at the University of Utah.

I have recited so many times the stories of Bill and you and your amazing journey with "Cobroxin" and the snakes which made your lives outstanding and also had such an impact on my son Chads' life. He adopted snakes as a young boy after witnessing Bill milking a Cobra and a Rattlesnake there at the SLC serpentarium.

It is so amazing the way your lives have impacted so many.

I am so saddened to hear of Bills passing. I hope that you will find comfort just a little more from hearing these words, you are a part of my life always.

My condolences and best wishes for you and your loved ones, my sorrow that I did not know of this lose earlier and my hope to you that you will remember you and Bill made such an impression on my and my young family at the time.

Best wishes, John Haynes, formerly from Provo, Utah, now from Houston Tx. 832-600-3180.
December 21, 2011
When I was just 8, I visited the Miami Serpentarium on a family Christmas vacation in 1977 and had been fascinated and impressed for the last 30 years.
Bill always said he would live to 100.
Let the research continue.
They should put a statue of Bill where the Serpentarium once stood.
December 6, 2011
I worked for Bill Haast back in 1980 or so. A tough man to work for but one of my heroes......would love to pick up where he left off.
Adrian Crane
November 8, 2011
Nancy, I don't know if you remember me or not. I came to Salt Lake City, and you picked me up at the airport. My dad was Magruder Adams, and Bill gave him the best years of his life with his MS by giving him the snake venom. I loved meeting you and Bill and seeing the lab and a cobra! He was a wonderful man and helped many people. Our family was blessed to have known him. Dianne Parker
October 23, 2011
I remember first visiting the Serpentarium in Miami in 1975. Bill was handling a "disgruntled" Krait snake, and this snake did not want to obey Bill, and it was very mean and Bill just patiently waited and slowly the snake came around and cooperated. He was magical with the snakes and a wonderful man. My heart is with you all at this sad time.
john h
October 6, 2011
may your light alway's shine. You have opened so many door's in the research of the use of snake venom. And the many lifes you have saved. May god alway's be with you. Robert Oliver
Robert Oliver
October 5, 2011
may peace and light forever envelop your soul, Mr. Haast. You did more to further research into snake anti-venom and more in general, for snakes themselves, than any other man i can think of. You showed us that snakes are not the terrible creatures of nightmare. You showed us that they are one of the most beautiful and most wonderful of all the creatures of this earth.
Michael Morton
October 1, 2011
I am scared to death of snakes.I find them fascinating and they are beautiful creatures.Thank goodness for Bill Haast!.I hope you are coping.My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Paul Bryant
September 9, 2011
September 9, 2011 "I recently heard of Bill's death and I am deeply sorry for your loss. I'll always remember our visits and cherish them forever. The picture of Bill and I still hang on my wall. If you need anything or just to talk please do not hesitate to contact me. Robert Lyons (Slidell, LA)
Robert Lyons
August 31, 2011
August 31, 2011 "My parents from Wisconsin took me to the Miami Serpentarium in 1961 at age 11 and again in the 1970's. I will never forget how Bill magically caught and milked a huge king cobra over 12 feet long. That was over 40 years ago. Bill was truly one of a kind. How many of us will live to be 100? Thankyou Mrs. Haast, for sticking by him through thick and thin. Sorry for your great loss. The world also has lost somone very special whose work has saved thousands of lives.
Ronald Mayer
August 27, 2011
Sincere condolences for your loss. I visited the Serpentarium as a child growing up in Kendall several times. I will always miss the giant Cobra Head greeting you on US1.
Greg
August 12, 2011
I am sorry for your loss. Bill was a great man. You must be at your wits end!

Much love
Michael Harrell
Michael Harrell
July 24, 2011
I visited the "Serp" in 1973 when I was only nine years old and at that moment I knew I wanted to work there when I grew up. I did end up working at the "serp" from 1981- 1983 and it was the most amazing job! Because of the Serpentarium and Bill Haast, I fell in love with reptiles. To this day I look back at my scrap book of the serp days and it brings back so many wonderful memories I will treasure forever! Bill Haast was an amazing man and I am greatful to have known him. I want to express my deepest sympathy to the family.
Karen Ziegler-Meeks
July 23, 2011
I am sorry for your loss. We are told 70 years is our life span. 80 years with special mightiness. ( Psalm 90:10)Bill was blessed with 100 years of special mightiness. may your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life definitely well-lived.
linda bailey
July 16, 2011
Dear Mrs. Haast, I want to express my deepest sympathy for your loss. Bill was my hero and the reason for my love of reptiles today. I grew up in the Kendall/Cutler Ridge area and spent as much time at the Serpentarium as I was allowed by my parents. I will always treasure those memories. He was an extaordinary man and his contribution to herpetology is immesurable. He will truly be missed.
God bless you.

Tommy Finney
Tom Finney
July 8, 2011
Bill was a gentleman for the many years did business together. The last time I saw him was 7 years ago. He as usual was a wonderful host . He and His wife were special people and the world in general and the herping world specifically will miss him!!

John Cherry
Cherryville Farms
John Cherry
July 8, 2011
I would like to express sympathy to the family for their loss. I first saw Mr. Bill Haast on the PBS Kids television series Bill Nye the Science Guy Reptiles episode in the year of 1999 when I was five years old. After watching Mr. Haast, I became more interested in venomous snakes and lizards.
Will Hoffmann
July 8, 2011
When I was about 10 yrs old in 1962 or 3 my class visited the Serpentarium and Mr. Haast asked for a volunteer helper while he was extracting venom. Of all the (very few) hands held high he picked me, a girl, and I felt so honored. I helped him for about 10 minutes and during the whole time his eyes were either on me or the snake or the snakes fangs. It was intense but I was not afraid and neither was he. I trusted him like I had never trusted anyone. Throughout my life I have always remembered him as someone who had faith in me and that felt good and still does. He's a hero.
Marg
July 1, 2011
Dearest Nancy, just back in Florida and heard this very tragic news. What a magical blessing to have shared your years with this humble, humorous, intelligent , singularly gifted & unique pioneer. And, what a most special friend Bill was to me.I mourn & pray for you & the girls, your loss is truly immense....Blessings, Lennie Jones
Lennie Jones
June 28, 2011
Deepest sympathy to the Haast family. Bill was a great man, and helped many, many people all over the world. He will be greatly missed.
Chandler Vreeland
June 26, 2011
my best to the haast family . I WORKED FOR
BILL AND FAMILY WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD.
NAIA & SHANTI AND CLARITA WERE GOOD FRIENDS. STEVE STRICKLAND
STRICKLAND1952@BELLSOUTH.NET
STEPHEN STRICKLAND
June 25, 2011
As a teenager I and several friends were amateur herpetologists. When Mr. Haast's autobiographical book "Cobras In His Garden" was published, we all avidly read it. I was fascinated by this quiet man's dedication to venom research, and the extreme risks he undertook in it's behalf. Although I never had the pleasure to meet Bill, some of my friends and family did, and they treasure the memories to this day. Yes, now gone, but certainly not forgotten...
Fred Marut
June 24, 2011
My deepest consolences to Nancy and the Haast Family. I had the honor and privilege to work for Mr. Haast for several years. The world has lost a great man, may he rest in peace. Many fond memories working at the Miami Serpentarium!
John
June 23, 2011
I vividly remember reading his biography "Cobras in His Garden", from my junior High School library in the late 60's.
Subsequent letters answered and long distance phone calls (from California) were always a great event for this fellow herpetologist.
A visit to "The Serp" in 1983 was like a pilgrimage.
Meeting Bill for the first (and only) time was like visiting with an old friend. He was kind and gracious.
To Bill and his family.
God Bless
B. Paxton
Palmdale,CA.
Bruce Paxton
June 23, 2011
I wonder how many lives he saved with his research and the development of antivenin. God bless Bill and all who devote their lives to saving others.
BILL MCGANN
June 23, 2011
To all of Bill's family, you are in my prayers! I love you all and may GOD bless you and keep you safe and healthy!
Dixie Greene
June 22, 2011
Late 50's, early 60's...Sitting in the living room with my Dad. I remember watching Bill Haast on the TV show "You asked for it" hosted by Jack Smith or maybe Art Baker? I do remember the host having slicked back hair. (I honestly couldn't remember, so I googled this info)

As a kid, I didn't know Mr. Haast's name. All I knew was that he was handling the biggest cobra I had ever laid my eye's on!

So, looking through the on-line photo's of this guest book, I couldn't believe it, the picture of that huge cobra snake is there!

And it still gets me kinda jumpy.

If you look you'll most likely agree with me if you look through the photo's, it's probably the biggest cobra you too might had ever seen?

Thinking back as a kid, I had nightmares for years about that show and especially that snake.

Oddly enough I've talked about that show on and off my whole life, just to young to remember the names and what have you... a good snake story though?

Funnier yet, my wife often wonders why I run and jump into bed at night?

God Bless Bill Haast.
D.R. Johnson
June 22, 2011
My first knowledge of Bill Haast was in 1959 hearing my father-in-law Owen Dishong a chicken farmer in Kendall, Fl. When He spoke of Bill you see in his eyes and hear in his voice the great admiration he held for this man. I remember the hugh concrete snake coming out of the building on Dixie highway and passed it many times in my travels up and down US 1. I remember seeing stories on TV about using his blood to calm the symptoms of Parkinson disease. Mr. Dishong told me tales of Bill being in the hospital expected to die from snake bites chronicled in the Miami Herald. What a guy!
Charlie Linenfelser
June 22, 2011
I grew up in Hialeah, and we loved going to the Serpentarium in the early days. We have photos of snakes wrapped around our shoulders. We were so excited every time we saw Mr. Haast milk a snake. Thanks for the wonderful childhood memories.
Vera Gray
June 22, 2011
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
irene childs
June 22, 2011
Growing up in Miami, I became very familiar with Mr. Haast and his work. This led to my lifelong interest and appreciation of snakes. Working with Girl Scouts and neighborhood children, I have endeavored to change the existing prejudices and fears to a realistic understanding of reptiles place and importance in our environment. Thanks, Bill
Joan
June 22, 2011
I SAW MR HAAST ON TV A NUMBER OF TIMES, I FOUND HIM AND HIS WORK TO BE FASCINATING !I WAS SURPRISED TO LEARN HE WAS FROM PATERSON,N.J ORIGINALLY AND BECAME INTERESTED IN VENOMOUS SNAKES WHEN HE WAS A BOY.HE WAS A MAN WITH SUPREME CONFIDENCE IN HIS WORK WITH VENOMOUS SNAKES.R.I.P
PETE CULLEN
June 22, 2011
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
June 22, 2011
I MET HIM ON MY HONEYMOON TO FLORIDA IN 1976. ACTUALLY WATCHED HIM EXTRACT VENOM. LITTLE DID I KNOW I WOULD LATER WORK THE WITH REPTILES MYSELF! SEEING THIS BROUGHT BACK A LOT OF MEMORIES. REST IN PEACE. DEEPEST SYMPATHY ON YOUR LOSS TO ALL WHO KNEW HIM.
June 22, 2011
Mr Haast was always an inspriration to our YMCA day-campers of the 50's who visited the Sepentariam south of Miami.
Thanks, Bill!
Clark Wheeler
June 21, 2011
DEAR NANCY,
I AM SO VERY SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS!!! I KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVE BILL AND HOW MUCH HE LOVED YOU!!! HE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED BY US ALL!!!
I LOVE YOU!!! Dixie Duncan Greene
Dixie Greene
June 21, 2011
He will be greatly missed. Thank you Bill
Melody Johnson
June 21, 2011
The world has lost one great man. I read about him as an elementary school student and have told my children and my grandchildren about him. Whenever he appeared on television I made a point to watch and share with my family and friends. I only wish I could have met him. Thank you on behalf of the many people who owe their lives to you and your research. My heart goes out to his family.
Chris Ross
June 21, 2011
what a remarkable and dedicated man. i've watched him on tv and have admired him for his work. may he be at peace in heaven with God. respectfully, sandy t.
sandy thomas
June 21, 2011
Farewell, Bill. You have been an icon to me since I was a kid ( and I am 58 btw).
I was so happy meeting Nancy and you twice in Punta Gorda and I enjoyed each single second.
I do pray for the family . Rest in Peace, Bill!
Ralf Sommerlad
June 21, 2011
as a mentor of mine in the 70s and 80s,i greatly appreciated all the wealth of knowledge i obtained from you.the world will not be the same without you.you and your work will be sadly missed,and greatly appreciated,forever....godspeed bill
donald esenwein
June 21, 2011
I taught biology for many years in New Hampshire. I made it a point every year to review Bill's work with my students when we studied reptiles. Bill's work was crucial in understanding the role of venomous snakes in the web of life. His dedication to his work resulted in saving many lives. Thank you.
Morgan Vendetti
June 21, 2011
I grew up in Miami and visited the Serpentarium on many occasions. I was always in awe of this man's ability to handle the snakes and the research he did to save the lives of snake bite victims. We named our first family snake "Bill" and continue to have a pet snake now. We teach our grand children to respect and not fear these creatures of God. I pray for the family and ask God's comfort at this time of sadness.
Margo Lang
June 21, 2011
Bill,
The Haast family was special to me. Bill gave me my first job working along side with his daught ninna. He inspired my brother to go into the animal business. I will always remember the job he did at the serpentarium
Joey Hitzig
Joey Hitzig
June 21, 2011
My family took a few vacations to Florida in the 70's when I was a boy. We would always stop at the Serpentarium. We made the trip on a Sunday once when Bill would take the big cobras out on the lawn. I still remember the thrill of watching Mr. Haast while his wife narrated what was happening and even she would have a little hitch in her voice never quite sure what was going to happen. After the demonstration, Mr. Haast gave me an eye cap off one of the cobras he had milked. I still have it to this day. Thank you Mr. Haast for the thrills and the education you provided me.
Steve Pedersen
June 21, 2011
Bill Haast was a legend and seemingly invincible in life. I was amazed at his skill and missed going to the Serpentarium after it closed. This is the end of an era, because there will never be another like him! My deepest sympathy to his wife and family.
Rachel Watkins Rogers
June 21, 2011
my wife and i stopped at the serpentarium on our honeymoon in 1971 i held an indigo snake to impress my sweeetie god bless the snakeman
maurice wheeler
June 21, 2011
My heart goes out to the Haast family. I'm so sorry for your lose. Losing a loved one in death is not easy. I hope that you can find comfort in John 25:8.
June 21, 2011
Some of my best childhood memories were traveling from Ohio with my family and visiting the Serpentarium. Watching Mr Haast and his wife work with the animals was so exciting. I was no more than 6 but remember learning from them that you could put an alligator "to sleep" by putting it on it's back. I remember Mom and Mamaw running backwards when just for a split second a snake left his hands. I loved watching them even more than Disney World trips. More recently I remember it was Mr Haast who saved the life of a man who worked at the serpentarium on SR 192 near Kissimmee. He had been bitten by a cobra and it walked it's way up his arm with it's teeth. Mr Haast was the only one who had the correct vemon and got it to the hospital in time to save him. I'm sad that my niece's and nephew will never get to see him work. He had a wonderfully long life and got to live his passion. Against all odds he survived many poisonous bites and even spent time in an iron lung but he never quit because he loved them and his work so much. He was one in a million and and could instill his passion in all who encountered him. I am so sad to hear he has left us but so happy for the legacy he left. I'm sure he is having a much more relaxed time playing with the reptiles in Heaven. We are sending love and prayers to his family. May God comfort and keep you in His arms.
Keys/McGinnis Family
June 21, 2011
Bill Haast, the legend I was never able to meet eventhough I called you so many times. Well, I wish you farewell in your new life and I am sure we will be seeing each other someday. Great work and I hope be involved with snakes someday, especially the Inland Taipan.

Taipan Land & Cattle LC,
An Arizona Company
David Silver
June 20, 2011
To the family of Dr. Bill Haast ~ you are in my prayers. Dr. Haast was a truly remarkable man and he will be missed. May he rest in peace.
Tina Wizi
June 20, 2011
Growing up in Oregon I never had the opportunity to visit the Serpentarium, but the entire community of reptile lovers will miss Bill and all that he's done for the creatures we love. The world can only hope to have another person as devoted to saving lives and educating others as him.
Teresa Montoya
June 20, 2011
A loving father,teacher,humanitarian and kind man whose passing will sadden us all. Naia Haast and I were friends in elementary school,we rode her horse Tarbaby and listened to Beatle music from the Rubbersoul and Revolver albums. She would tell our class about the emergency calls her father would receive in the event that someone had been bitten by a snake and her father's own bloodsupply would be a lifesaver due to the antibodies. And we would think,How cool is that! God bless and comfort the Haast family.
Diane Lampe
June 20, 2011
I hate to hear this reptile legend has passed. But I enjoy the thought that he lived a full and eventful life, was bit by that many venomous snakes, and still lived to be 100.
Lyn Van
June 20, 2011
I grew up in Cutler Ridge...going to the Serpentarium was a thrill and a threat (not a typo) for me as I have always had a deep snake phobia. I cringed every time I passed that big statue on top. When I went in the 70's it was out of curiosity: who was this great man who milked snakes and had antibodies running through his veins? The contributions he had made at the time were mind boggling to me. My mother had photos of her as a teenager with one of his snakes draped across her shoulders- I, of course, have none as I couldn't muster the courage. As an adult I am grateful for his contribution to the world with his endeavors. Without his presence in this field many lives would have been lost, knowledge never have been gained, and memories never even existed. Much respect. Thank-you Bill for sharing your lives with us. P.S. I still despise snakes.
Angela Billings
June 20, 2011
I grew up in Dania, Fl and spent many a day in the early fifties going through the fields turning over lumber, and cardboard boxes looking for my future pet snake. Wasn't until the late seventies that I was bit by a cotton mouth while on the job. Seems they take on the color of a copperhead in there juvenile stage. It was Bill that let me know just what bit me. Bill will long live on through his venom research. May God always have his hands on Bill's shoulders.
R J
June 20, 2011
I visited the Serpentarium many times and had the pleasure of meeting him face to face. I was touched by his presences then and in my heart i am touched by his death. My prayers are for comfort for all those that new him and loved him.
Lisa Lee Harp Waugh
June 20, 2011
I was born in Kendall,Fl in 1936 and had the pleasure of knowing Bill personally while I was growing up. My Uncle Alton V Freeman owned the Rare Bird farm up the street from the serpentarium. We inported and exported many wild animals and reptiles in addition too evey kind of bird known to man. We would always get Bill to help us put the 20 foot pythons in a shipping crate (he handled the head). Bill was always a special person in my life. God bless him and may he rest in peace.
Doug Walker
June 20, 2011
So sad to hear of his passing, I have fond memories of visiting the serpentarium as a kid many times in the late 70's and 1980s. The medical knowledge, venom products and techniques, and herpetological education Mr. Haast gave to mankind will live on. RIP
M W
June 20, 2011
I visited the Serpentarium one weekend in 1968, and was fortunate to be there when Bill milked that huge King Cobra.....we were all in a courtyard together with Bill and the SNAKE, and believe me, we moved back as a group when that snake emerged, rearing high over Bill's head. He only had what looked like a STICK to fend it off...I gather there was a fork-like separation at the tip. He finally got hold of it......It's one of the thrills of my entire life to have seen Bill and that snake rearing over his head, and he maneuvering under it. Pat C.
Pat Courtemanche
June 20, 2011
Bill Haast will live on in the memories of all of us who knew and admired him. I was born in Miami 75 years ago and was fortunate enough to witness the very beginnings of the Miami Serpentarium in the 1940s. I will always be grateful I had access to it and to Bill in the early 1950s, when I was an amateur snake hunter. He provided me ant the other teenage hunters with a ready market for our snakes. We were all in awe of his daring work with the deadly neurotoxic varieties. (We were also in awe of his 1954 Chevy Corvette!) Bill and I had fascinating conversations about his knowledge of snake handling in Africa and India. He deserves special thanks for his successful treatment of my friend, S. Lee, who was accidentally bitten by large cottonmouth he captured in the Glades.

I offer my heartfelt sympathy to Bill's family and assure them there are those who will always miss him.
Sincerely, Tom Harner
Thomas Harner
June 20, 2011
I always had much respect for Mr.haast and his research. I remember him from when I was a child. My dad frequently took me and my brothers to the serpentarium. Mr.Haast once placed a snake around my neck. Cool memories
Barbara Gibbs (Rodriguez)
June 20, 2011
Bill Haast will live on in the memories of all of us who knew and admired him. I was born in Miami 75 years ago and was fortunate enough to witness the very beginnings of the Miami Serpentarium in the 1940s. I will always be grateful that I had access to it and to Bill in the early 1950s, when I was an amateur snake hunter. He provided me and the other teenage hunters with a ready market for our snakes. We were all in awe of his daring work with the deadly neurotoxic varieties. (We were also in awe of his 1954 Chevy Corvette!) Bill and I had fascinating conversations about his knowledge of snake handling in Africa and India. He deserves special thanks for his successful treatment of my buddy, S. Lee, who was bitten by a large cottonmouth while in the Glades. I offer my heartfelt sympathy to Bill's family and assure them there are those who will always miss him.
Thomas Harner
June 20, 2011
Our 7th grade class visited the Serpentarium in 1952. It was a visit that changed my attitude forever towards snakes (positively). The special unit in Miami-Dade exists because of Mr. Haast's pioneering research which has saved many lives around the world. Truly his was a life well-lived.
Janet
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