Big Changes Coming to Reptiles Alive LLC

Big Changes Coming to Reptiles Alive LLC

In May 2020, I am giving ownership of Reptiles Alive LLC to my longtime employee Rachel Walker.  This is not an easy decision, as you can imagine, however, I am embarking on an exciting adventure starting a new business: Kids Nature Shows LLC. 

My whole life I have loved animals, especially snakes.  I have also been passionate about sharing my excitement about reptiles and the natural world with as many people as possible.  I created Reptiles Alive LLC over 25 years ago (starting as “The Reptile Lady”) because presenting educational animal shows promoting kindness and compassion for all creatures is my calling.  Let me just say, there is not much else that brings me more joy than performing shows in front of live audiences, especially young audiences.  Hearing people tell me after seeing one of my shows that they now like (or even love) animals they used to fear is an extra happy bonus.

But I’m not quitting performing educational shows.  I am, however, making a slight change in the format of my programs.  Instead of using live animals, Kids Nature Shows LLC will have a cast of colorful animal puppets.

Why puppets instead of live animals?  A few years ago, I started incorporating a few animal puppets into my Reptiles Alive shows. After the show, more often than not, kids would ask me to bring back out the puppet Tommy the tadpole and do his bit again. Or, I would ask the kids, what was your favorite animal? And instead of hearing the boa or the turtle, students would say “Oh, I loved Tommy (the puppet) best!”  This feedback started my gears turning….

Another reason I am switching to animal puppets is due to changing regulations and restrictions concerning live animal programs.  Some of the schools and other facilities we performed at were no longer allowing live animals, so I started offering them a show with just puppets and other natural artifacts and the shows were super successful.  More gears turning…

And the biggest reason I am switching to animal puppets?  Because they are SO MUCH FUN!  Seriously, these puppets have personality. (And they are much easier to care for than real live animals.) And young audiences LOVE the animal puppets!  My shows have always been fun and now, oh boy, I can really go to town doing the animal voices and stories, that if you’ve seen me, you know I love to tell.  Also, I can have ANY KIND of animal now! Shark? Sure, no problem.  Bumblebee that won’t sting? You got it!  I now have the flexibility to offer so many more themes and topics in my shows.  I can’t express just how excited I am about this new phase in my career.

From now until May 2020, I will still be the owner of Reptiles Alive LLC and will be the sole employee.  Rachel will be taking personal leave from November through May and the other RA employees have moved on.  Some of you may have noticed we are not currently taking bookings for evening or weekend shows and this is because in addition to performing all the shows until May, I am also the only animal keeper and office worker. I am basically doing three jobs and need to be sure I still have some time for myself too!

I am giving Reptiles Alive LLC to Rachel because she has demonstrated that she not only loves and respects animals as much as I do, but she has also shown me how much she loves Reptiles Alive LLC itself. I know she will care for the animals in the same way that I do. I know she will be a fun and engaging wildlife educator.  And I know she will continue my mission of educating people about snakes and reptiles and promoting kindness and compassion towards all creatures.  I wouldn’t trust or want RA to go to anybody else.

I invite you to book with my new business Kids Nature Shows LLC and find out for yourself just how much kids love my animal puppet shows.  These shows are perfect for preschools, kindergartens, day care centers, or any event or venue that caters to young children.  I am in the process of producing a variety of new shows for KNS.  Check out my currently offered shows at the animal puppet shows list.

Request a Kids Nature Shows booking from our online booking form.

You can also follow Kids Nature Shows on Facebook and Instagram.

My last RA show is on April 30, 2020.  After then, Rachel will be the owner/operator and I know Reptiles Alive LLC will continue to be a wild successssssssssssss!

Caroline Seitz

Owner/Director

Reptiles Alive LLC and Kids Nature Shows LLC

A Ssssuper Ssssumer at Reptiles Alive!

The birds are chirping, the frogs are calling and the snakes are slitherin’!  And I hope you are getting out there and enjoying all the beautiful weather the DC area is finally having after our long cold winter.

Here at Reptiles Alive, we are, as usual, gearing up for our super busy season.  We perform shows all year long, however, April – August are the 5 busiest months of the year here.  Just about every day we will be at end of year school assemblies, summer camps, festivals and special events.  In fact, our calendar is already just about booked up from now until September!

But don’t despair if you don’t already have an RA show booked for a birthday or into your school spring assembly or summer camp schedule, you can still see us at one of our (mostly FREE!) public event shows!

In MAY, Cobra Caroline will be at Mason Neck State Park where she got her start as a park ranger.  This will be on SATURDAY MAY 11 at 11 & 4 pm at the incredibly fun Eagle Festival.   Reptile Rachel will be at the Davis Library in Bethesda on SATURDAY MAY 18 at 11 am and the rockin’ Rockville Hometown Holidays Festival on SATURDAY MAY 25 at 1:15 and 2:30 pm.

In JUNE, our public shows really kick into high gear.  JUNE 1 we’ll be at BOWIEFEST at 2 and 3:30; JUNE 7 AND 8 we’ll be at CELEBRATE FAIRFAX FESTIVAL at 6:30 pm on the 7th and 5 pm on the 8th.  We will also be presenting at lots libraries in central Virginia and Montgomery Co MD.

Oh man, JULY, is the height of our busy season!  A highlight is Cobra Caroline’s annual 4th of July performances in Sterling at the Claude Moore Park 4th of July Festival.  Reptile Rachel will once again perform at the Lubber  Run Amphitheater in Arlington on Sunday JULY 7 at 11 am.  And, we will be at too many libraries to list here throughout DC, MD, and VA.

In AUGUST we are still going full speed ahead with public library shows in DC, Central VA, and Montgomery Co. MD.

Finally in SEPTEMBER, we have a free public show at the RIO in Gaithersburg on Wednesday September 4 at 10:30.

And keep yourself ready for OCTOBER when we are already  booked for Fall for Fairfax on Sunday October 6 and Petoberfest on Saturday October 19.

To check out all of our public events, visit our Public Events Calendar.

HAPPY SUMMER!

kids parties - reptile shows - petting zoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creature Feature: Boa Constrictors

Boa Constrictor

Boa constrictor

Reptiles Alive Names: “Cinco & Sunglow (the albino)”

kids parties - school assemblies

Cinco the boa constrictor sporting a ‘stache.

 

school assemblies - reptile program

Sunglow the albino boa constrictor

Hisssstory: Cinco was an unwanted pet that was left with the Alexandria Animal Welfare League’s animal shelter and then we adopted him. Sunglow came to us from a citizen who no longer wanted to care for her.

RA Diet: Frozen, defrosted and then warmed up jumbo sized dead rats.  Yummmmmmmmmmm.

Range: Boa constrictors have an enormous range from Mexico to Argentina.

Habitat:
 Boa constrictors  live in many habitats:  rain forests, dry tropical woodlands, grasslands, farms, and even urban regions.

Natural Diet: Boa constrictors will consume birds,  small mammals, and occasionally reptiles.

Size: Boa constrictors grow to an average length of 6 – 9 feet and have been know to grow to over 12 feet long. The anaconda, which is related to boa constrictors, is considered one of the largest snakes in world and can grow to more than 20 feet!

Reproduction: Females give live birth of up to 50 babies at a time.  One of the big differences between boas and pythons is that boas give birth to live young and pythons lay eggs.

Lifespan:
 Boa constrictors are  long living snakes and can live for 40 years.

Conservation:
 Threats include:  human predation, roads, habitat loss and the pet trade. This is one of  the most commonly abandoned pet snakes.   Boa constrictors  get large, requiring custom built reptile enclosures, high heat and humidity, and food not found at the local grocery store!  Boas are not a great pet choice for most people.

Cool Facts: 
Boa constrictors are the kings and queens of the jungle.  Most rain forest animals are adapted to live in a specific layer of the forest.  For example:  Amazon river turtles live in the river, giant toads live on the forest floor,  and iguanas live in the canopy.  Boa constrictors, however, are adapted for living in all the layers of the jungle.  Like all snakes, they swim, so you can find them in the river.  Their beautiful colors give them camouflage that makes them almost invisible while resting quietly on the forest floor.  And, boa constrictors love to hang out in the canopy!  The boa constrictor is the master of the rain forest.

5 Easy Steps to Help a Turtle Cross the Road

5 Easy Steps to Help a Turtle Cross the Road

reptile party - snake party - kids party

Here at Reptiles Alive, we often get asked about how to help turtles that are in the middle of a road.  Although this may seem like a simple question, let’s break the answer down to 5 easy steps.

  1.  Determine how SAFE the road is for YOU to be in it!  Seriously, do not risk your life or the lives of other drivers by going into the middle of a busy highway.  If the road is safe enough for you to pull over and/or walk into the road, then…
  2.  Look at the DIRECTION the turtle is walking.  This is where the turtle wants to go.  Turtles have a mind of their  own and they know their own area or territory.  The turtle has a reason for crossing the road, we’re just going to help it along.
  3. Pick the turtle up CAREFULLY. Keep fingers and body parts away from the turtle’s head (they can bite) and support the turtle using both hands to pick up from the top and support underneath. Please note, if the turtle is large or you think it is a snapping turtle, do not attempt to handle the turtle.  Either use a shovel or broom to “encourage” the turtle to move across the road or call the animal control department of the county you are in.
  4. Walk the turtle IN THE DIRECTION IT WAS HEADED to the other side of the road above any curb and gently set it down.
  5. Say buh-bye to the turtle and then WASH YOUR HANDS.  All animals, including turtles, can have bacteria on their skin that on occasion can cause illness in humans.

Now let’s talk about what NOT to do.

  1. Do not relocate the turtle to another area.  Turtles have territories where they know where the water sources, food sources, and hibernation sites are located. If you move the turtle to another location it may not survive because of dehydration, starvation, or hypothermia.
  2. Do not relocate the turtle to another area.  New, emerging diseases are being found in certain turtle populations in North America and if you move a turtle, you may spread diseases which can kill other turtles.
  3. Do not relocate the turtle to your home.  Although adorable, turtles are wild animals. They have very special captive care requirements and most do not survive being kept as a pet.  Those that do survive captivity can live 80 or more years!  And if you get tired of caring for your turtle pet (who won’t snuggle or play Frisbee with you) you cannot release it back to wild because – SEE ABOVE.
  4. Do not relocate the turtle to your home.  Turtle populations are in trouble.  Because turtles have such a slow reproductive rate, every adult turtle in a population counts.  By removing a turtle, you could be damaging an entire turtle population.