Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research - Conservation - Preservation - Education - Public Information - Research - Field Studies - Captive Propagation - Advancing knowledge and understanding of the herpetofauna of the American Southwest


17 Jun 2011

It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of SWCHR Honorary Life Member William E. "Bill" Haast.  Bill passed away at his home in Punta Gorda, Florida of natural causes on the evening of Wednesday, June 15, 2011.  He was born December 30, 1910 and operated the Miami Serpentarium located south of Miami, Florida from 1947 until 1985 when he closed the facility and moved to Utah.  After living in Utah for a few years, Bill and his wife Nancy returned to South Florida where Bill served as Director of the Miami Serpentarium Laboratories in Punta Gorda, which extracts and provides venom from numerous species of venomous snakes worldwide for medical and research purposes.  During his long career of working with some of the world's most deadly snakes, he experienced in excess of 170 venomous bites.

Bill Haast was a legend and an icon of the herpetological community.  To commemorate his 100th birthday on December 30, 2010 the Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research (SWCHR) Board of Directors voted unanimously to bestow an Honorary Life Membership on William E. 'Bill' Haast in recognition of his lifetime of work involving venom extraction and venom research.  Bill was the first person to be made an Honorary Life Member of SWCHR.

The Board of Directors and membership of SWCHR expresses our sympathy and condolences to Bill's gracious wife, Nancy, his other family members and friends.

Gerald Keown
Executive Director
Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research

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