Jonathan Crowe

My Correct Views on Everything

Seaway Serpentarium Reptiles in Custody Battle

The fate of some 200 or so reptiles belonging to the Seaway Serpentarium, including very rare Orinoco crocodiles and a large number of venomous snakes, is in limbo following the death of its curator, Karel Fortyn, earlier this month. (He was only 52.) Fortyn’s ex-common-law wife and brother have been arguing over what is to be done with them: she wants the Indian River Reptile Zoo to place them; he wants the collection kept together. I’ve been somewhat acquainted with some of the parties involved here, though not Fortyn himself. My understanding is that the Serpentarium was open to the public for a couple of years in the 1990s, but has since been sort of “off display” while Karel tried to put together the resources to reopen.