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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> 6/15/11 - RIP Mr. Haast! Bill HAAST and the MIAMI SERPENTARIUM Photo Gallery - click on image to view > The original giant Cobra statue at the Miami Serpentarium
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The original giant Cobra statue at the Miami Serpentarium
ŠNorman Dale Reed

The original giant Cobra statue at the Miami Serpentarium

SW 128th Street and South Dixie Highway, Dade County, Florida


Thank you to Norman Dale Reed for contributing this great old copyrighted image of the original Cobra statue at Bill Haast's Miami Serpentarium. Dale's sister Nancy Reed worked for Bill for some time as a medical technician in the 1960's and Dale knew Bill and his family well. Dale graduated from Palmetto High School in 1965 and his wife of 35 years graduated in 1971.

Dale doesn't have a date for the photo but it was before the freak windstorm, possibly a small tornado, took it down. He thinks it was only up for two or three years and thought it was better than the white plaster version that went up afterwards.


other sizes: small medium original
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Anthony 09-Nov-2011 22:04
Dear Nancy: That Cobra statue your father built was amazing. You wouldn't happen to have any photos of him building it, would you? Also, from reading the various posts I can't tell if the statue was destroyed or still exists. Seems there are some conflicting stories.
Guest 07-Nov-2011 01:47
I am Nancy Banks, the daughter of the man who built the cobra, Hank Banks. I am so very proud to see this.
John J Masucci29-Sep-2011 15:33
It did sit atop the south rooftop (facing Miller Rd) of So. Miami Highschool after it was reconstructed, I drove by it daily on my travels to and from the University of Miami from 77Ct
until Aug 1992 when Hurricane Andrew took it down...
Guest 20-Jun-2011 03:17
BILL HAAST LIVED TO BE 100.
HE RECENTLY PASSED AWAY ON JUNE 15, 2011
OF NATURAL CAUSES IN PUNTA GORDA, FL.
Ray Bade 18-Jun-2011 16:28
When the cobra was donated to South Miami Senior High, our mascot was the Cobras, a local tree service was hired to attempt the move. The date was October 27, 1984. As the crane lifted up the straps, they crushed the cape of the cobra, sending pieces falling everywhere. The head was fine and the lower body was in tact, but "de capello" (the wide part seen in the photo) was gone.

I was part of the marching band at the time and we were on the back of a large truck watching all of this close up. This was a huge disappointment and the "skeleton" of the structure sat on our P.E. field for quite a while. Finally, enough money was raised and the cobra was re-constructed and placed on top of the school building, overlooking Miller Road.
Guest 20-Feb-2011 15:35
My mistake...NOT Sunset but South Miami High School.
Guest 20-Feb-2011 15:30
The original statue was given to Sunset High Cobras. When they tried to move it, around '82 or so, it crumbled to pieces.
Guest 21-Jan-2011 15:39
The giant cobra statue is a childhood memory for me, every time we went from our house in Homestead to my grandparents' home in South Miami I looked for the statue. I was born in 1955 and we moved away from Homestead in 1959, if that helps you narrow down the timeframe. My first thought after Hurricane Andrew was, "I bet the cobra fell down", but I guess it fell many years before that!
Lindsay M. Harrington 01-Jun-2010 02:26
The statue was moved to Punta Gorda and is now on a small mound in the middle of a pond behind the new serpentarium and west of his Diamondback nature preserve on their ranch in Punta Gorda.
Alvin Lederer 14-Jul-2009 02:41
Dr. Bill Haast and his wife are still alive and living in Punta Gorda, Fla.