Brian Barczyk fans pay tribute as YouTuber and reptile expert with 5m subscribers dies at 54

Brian Barczyk fans pay tribute as YouTuber and reptile expert with 5m subscribers dies at 54
Cancer-stricken reptile influencer Brian Barczyk who posted viral farewell video dies
New York Post / VideoElephant

Popular Youtuber and reptile expert Brian Barczyk has died aged 54 from pancreatic cancer.

Barczyk built a platform of more than 5.28 million YouTube subscribers and 7.2 million TikTok followers with educational videos about reptiles, such as snakes and alligators, and also appeared on the Discovery show Venom Hunters.

In 2018, he opened a Michigan-based interactive reptile zoo called The Reptarium and also had begun his LegaSea aquarium project which is currently in the middle of construction.

He passed away on Sunday (January 14) from Stage 4 inoperable pancreatic cancer, as per NBC, and had been open with his followers back in March 2023 about his health diagnosis.

Taking to Instagram, The Reptarium shared the sad news about Barczyk's passing and paid tribute to the herpetologist.

"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," the post read.

Barczyk is survived by his wife, Lori, and their children, Noah and Jade, with his son paying tribute to his father.

"Nobody’s going to replace him, and even if you tried, you can’t," Noah told NBC via email. "But we can be his conduit to keep his message alive. I promise our whole team will make you proud Dad."

After he revealed his cancer journey, Barczyk regularly provided updates about his health to his subscribers and posted his final video on January 5 where he shared that he was going into hospice care.

Noah has been running his father's YouTube channel since then.

Barczyk expressed in his last video how his passion has always been to "create experiences and opportunities for people to love animals".

"I pray that you guys will continue to watch the vlog, continue to follow along, because nothing is going to change," he added.

"Our message is the same. The only difference is that you're not going to see me. But trust me, I'm ready, guys. It was a tough year. It was so painful."

There has been an outpouring of tributes on social media from fans of Barczyk who were saddened to hear of his passing.

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