Snake Man Bill Haast Has Died
JACKI LYDEN, host:
And now, a remembrance. Bill Haast, a pioneering snake expert, died this past week. The self-proclaimed Snakeman was director of the Miami Serpentarium Laboratories, where he extracted venom from the world's most poisonous snakes for use in medical research. Haast believed he handled more than 3 million snakes during his career.
WEEKEND EDITION profiled him back in 1999.
Mr. BILL HAAST (Late Snake Expert): See how close you can get to it? Now he's on the alert. You want me to hold that down there?
LYDEN: He told us that he had built up an immunity to the snake bites by injecting himself with a mix of cobra venom. He said he wasn't sure if that venom cocktail contributed to his good health and vitality.
MR. HAAST: I have no proof, but I'm active from morning 'til night, seven days a week. So when I'm 100, if I'm doing just what I'm doing now, then I'll say, yes, it's the venom.
LYDEN: It must have been. Bill Haast died of natural causes at the age of 100.
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