Brian Barczyk also owned a zoo based in Michigan called The Repatrium (Picture: Facebook)
Barczyk was best known for being a social media star, the founder of Michigan zoo The Reptarium, and for featuring on Discovery Channel show Venom Hunters.
His death was announced on his official Instagram page today (Monday January 15), with his team remembering him as a ‘visionary, mentor, and friend’ in a lengthy tribute.
The statement read: ‘On behalf of the Barczyk family and our entire team at The Reptarium, it is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved Brian Barczyk.
‘More than the guiding light of our organization, Brian’s fervent passion for reptiles and wildlife, along with his steadfast dedication to education, has touched innumerable hearts and minds globally.
Our deepest sympathies are with Brian’s family, his friends, and all those whose lives he has touched. We’ve lost an exceptional individual – a visionary, mentor, and friend. For those of us who had the privilege of working alongside him, Brian’s absence leaves an immeasurable void.
Barczyk founded The Reptarium zoo and was a social media star (Picture: Facebook)
‘As we navigate this difficult time, we find comfort in the memories and the lasting light of Brian’s work. He will be deeply missed but indeed, never forgotten.’
Barczyk’s death comes 10 days after he posted a 16-minute-long goodbye video on YouTube, titled ‘This Is Goodbye…’ before he entered hospice care.
‘It’s been an amazing journey and one that has changed my life,’ he began as he thanked his ‘reptile army’ for their support.
Barczyk said he was proud of hs legacy (Picture: Facebook)
Reflecting on his legions of fans, The Reptarium, and social media success, he also said in a vlog last week that he felt he had been one of the ‘lucky ones.’
He said: ‘I’m going to be able to look down on the legacy, I’m going to be able to look down on my family, and everyone who I love. I’m the lucky one.’
Speaking through tears he continued: ‘I’m ready, guys. 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.’
Barczyk revealed last year that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.
He is survived by his wife, Lori, and two children Noah and Jade.
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