Spring Changes at Reptiles Alive!

We are having a spring full of changes here at Reptiles Alive LLC.  We are welcoming some great new animals into our animal star collection and a great new animal keeper to help care for our critters – new and old.

Coming out of quarantine this month are two new snakes:  Sunglow the albino boa constrictor and Pumpkin the Pueblan milk snake.  At Reptiles Alive LLC we quarantine our new animals for at least 3 months before taking them to public events.  During this time, the new animals are given thorough health checks and evaluated for temperament.  We want to be sure the animals we bring to our education programs are healthy and relaxed before we take them out into public.  Look for Sunglow and Pumpkin to begin starring in shows this month.

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Pumpkin the Pueblan Milk Snake

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Sunglow the albino Boa Constrictor

 

We also received two new animals that will be starting their quarantine period.  A young tegu lizard and an American toad have just joined our collection.  We have named the new toad “Toad Truck” and are thinking of naming the tegu “Alex” since we adopted him from the Alexandria Animal Welfare League (AWLA).

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Toad Truck the American Toad

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Keeper LizardLiz with Alex the Tegu

Joanne Fujito, a full-time animal nurse at Southpaws Emergency Veterinary Clinic, has joined our animal keeper staff as a back up keeper. Jo brings with her a tremendous amount of experience caring for and handing all kinds of animals and we are very excited to have her assisting in the care of the Reptiles Alive animals.

On sad note, we said a final goodbye to a long time animal team member.  Our water monitor lizard Splash was euthanized at the beginning of the month because of severe arthritis.  He was at least 15 years old- possibly older. We received him from the AWLA back in 2006 when he was found stuck in a drain pipe in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  He was very curious, intelligent, and had a great personality.  All of the RA staff that met him have a special place in their heart for this awesome lizard. Splash – you will be missed.

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Goodbye old buddy

 

 

POSITION FILLED – Job Opening at Reptiles Alive LLC

Job Opening at Reptiles Alive LLC

POSITION NOW CLOSED

Wildlife Educator / Reptile Show Presenter

We are looking for a reliable, responsible, and energetic person who loves reptiles, kids, and public speaking.

PART TIME, FLEXIBLE schedule:

5-10 (more or less) hours per week (primarily weekends and evenings, with weekday work available in June/July/August)

Pay: $75 – $125 per program performed

Location: Our facility is located in Annandale, VA. Educator will perform programs throughout the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. area.

Duties: The educator will present educational live animal shows for a variety of audiences including: childrens’ birthday parties, preschool & school programs, camps, special events, and more. The educator will safely handle a variety of live amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles (including non-venomous snakes.)

Requirements:

-Must be extremely responsible, reliable, safety conscious and able to work unsupervised

-Comfortable speaking confidently and enthusiastically while entertaining large audiences of all ages, especially young children

-Comfortable handling live snakes, large lizards, and other exotic animals in a safe and professional manner

-Pass a national background check

-High school diploma

-Valid driver’s license with clean driving record

-Ability to lift 50 pounds

-A reliable car, van, or covered truck that will be used to drive with live animals to show locations

Preferred applicants will have experience:

-Developing and presenting animal/environmental education programs

-Working with reptiles and amphibians 

-Driving in the Washington DC Metro area

-College courses in biology, natural history, public speaking or communication

Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to:

Caroline Seitz

reptilesalive@gmail.com

Website: www.reptilesalive.com

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Fun With Kids & Nature: Vernal Pools!

Fun With Kids & Nature: Vernal Pools!

Are the kids antsy for winter to be over? Are you looking for a fun idea for the family to get outside and welcome the change to spring?

Head out one evening to a vernal pool near you and introduce your children to an epic annual event. The massing of millions of amphibians to mate and lay eggs only occurs once a year. In the Washington DC area, this would be during mid to late February through March on a warm evening (55 F or above) during or after rain.

Vernal pools are special habitats that fill with rainwater in the fall, winter, and spring and typically dry up in the summer.  Because these pools are not permanent, fish are not able to survive. Without fish to eat their eggs or larvae, amphibians such as spring peeper, wood frogs, and spotted salamanders are able to utilize vernal pools to lay their eggs.

A vernal pool is probably closer to your home than you think.

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Wetlands area behind ballfields – perfect for Spring Peepers or Chorus Frogs

 

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Spring Peeper

 

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Vernal Pool in ditch filled with Wood Frog eggs

 

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Wood Frog Eggs

 

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Wood Frog

 

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Vernal Pool with emerging Skunk Cabbage behind an office building next to the Beltway in Fairfax VA

A great way to find a vernal pool is to listen for the loud, piercing “PEEP!” of Spring Peepers peeping, usually in the evening, but occasionally during the day as well. Follow the frog chorus and it will lead you to an area where there is probably a vernal pool or at least a wetland of some sort.

 

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Spring Peeper Peeping

If it is close to dark, give everyone a flashlight or headlamp and head out. Once you arrive at the vernal pool, let your family know to keep their eyes and ears open.  You may see see the tiny Spring Peeper frogs, but you are more likely to hear them. Larger and easier to see are Wood Frogs which make a call similar to the quacking of ducks. Spotted Salamanders are silent, however they are spectacular!  They grow up to 8 inches in length, are shiny black and usually have rows of bright yellow spots on their back.

Kids may want to catch or handle the frogs and their eggs. Teach how to be respectful of animals while encouraging excitement about the natural world. Be sure hands are wet and chemical-free when handling amphibians or eggs. Be gentle and return any captured animals or eggs to the spot they were found. To stop the spread of disease among amphibian populations, when you get home be sure to wash hands with soap and water after touching any animals and disinfect shoes and any nets, buckets, or other materials that came into contact with animals, eggs, or the habitat with a 10% bleach/water solution.

The awesomeness of an up-close experience in the wild with amazing animals that only appear once per year is an activity your family will never forget.

 

Tips For a Fun Winter Kids Party with Reptiles Alive

6 Tips for a Fun & Easy Winter Kids Party with Reptiles Alive

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African savanna monitor lizard HannaSavanna all ready to head to a winter birthday party.

Although Spring is just around the corner, winter is not quite finished yet.  If your child has a birthday in the winter months, a Reptiles Alive party is a super-fun choice.  Here are tips to help make your party a wild success!

1. Book your show as early as possible.  Sometimes we are able to fit birthday shows in at the last minute, so contact us even if you party is the next day! However, the earlier you book with us, the more likely it is that your first choice of a date and time will be available in our schedule. You can easily book your Reptiles Alive show on our online booking page.

2. Plan your guest list.  Smaller groups are usually more fun for the birthday person, guests, and parents, especially with young children. A general suggestion is to invite the child’s age + 2. For example, at a 4 year old’s party, 6 guests would be invited. And a winter party usually means an indoor party, another reason to keep the guest list short. Of course a small guest list is not always possible, so we offer reptile party shows for small groups and big groups too!  See both options on our party page.

3. Anticipate the weather.  In the Washington DC area, even a tiny amount of snow can cause complete gridlock which can stop both guests and our animals from getting to the party.  At Reptiles Alive, we offer to refund or reschedule any show cancelled due to snow/ice.  It is a good idea to keep up with the weather forecast for the day of your show. If snow/ice is predicted, consider rescheduling for another date.

4. Plan the menu. Is this a cake and ice cream only party, or will you also be serving lunch, dinner, or even breakfast?  A great idea for a fun indoor activity is for guests to decorate their own cupcakes.  Pre-bake or buy plain iced cupcakes and then set out a cupcake fixins bar.  Since this is a reptile-themed party, edible reptile themed sprinkles and gummy worms (as snakes) can be offered along with other colorful fun toppings.

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These amazing cakes were at Reptiles Alive parties.

5. Plan fun indoor activities. Set up a big table as a coloring station with fresh crayons, plain white paper and reptile coloring pages printed from our kids page. Play indoor games that children already know and give the game a reptile twist.  Examples include “pin the tongue on the snake” or “a snake egg hunt.”  A whole list of fun activity ideas, craft projects, games, and more listed on our party ideas page.

6. Keep it simple.  Most parties need only last 2 hours.  Expect guests to arrive a bit late.  An example of a typical cake & ice cream (no main meal being served) party would be:

1-1:30 pm   Guest arrivals/Coloring table time/Easy game time

1:30-2:15 pm Reptiles Alive show

2:15-2:20 pm Wash Hands

2:20-2:45 pm Decorate cup cakes/Sing Happy Birthday/Eat cupcakes (or cake) and ice cream

2:45-3 pm Easy game/activity

3 pm  Guests depart

Have a few easy backup games at the ready in case guests finish activities more quickly than expected. And if you are lucky enough to have a nice day and a fenced in backyard, send the kids outside to play.

You are always welcome to contact Reptiles Alive for more kids party ideas and information – we are happy to help in any way to make your party a sssssuper ssssucess!

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Rockin’ReptileRachel delights two birthday girls with Elvis the king snake.

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LATEST NEWS

TESTIMONIALS

"It was fantastic and the whole party was into it. Tony was truly a wonderful educational presenter."

Rachel Karnes, Mom, Potomac Falls VA

5.0
2016-11-16T17:25:35+00:00

Rachel Karnes, Mom, Potomac Falls VA

"It was fantastic and the whole party was into it. Tony was truly a wonderful educational presenter."

"Thank you! The information provided to the kids was so educational and fun. I am a homeschool mom and the way the material was presented...

Patty Coote, Mom, Herndon VA

5.0
2016-11-16T17:28:52+00:00

Patty Coote, Mom, Herndon VA

"Thank you! The information provided to the kids was so educational and fun. I am a homeschool mom and the way the material was presented felt like we were at a fun event! The parents even remarked that they learned something. My son has a lifetime memory because of your program."

"Thank you for an incredible birthday party! All of the children had a wonderful experience. Caroline was so easy to work with and Tony did...

Marcie Blackstone, Mom, Clarksburg MD

5.0
2017-01-02T09:08:56+00:00

Marcie Blackstone, Mom, Clarksburg MD

"Thank you for an incredible birthday party! All of the children had a wonderful experience. Caroline was so easy to work with and Tony did a great job presenting to the kids!"

"Liz was great. She was prompt, organized, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Having her do the show in our home was effortless, entertaining, and overall a...

Tammy Berkon, Mom, Alexandria VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:11:36+00:00

Tammy Berkon, Mom, Alexandria VA

"Liz was great. She was prompt, organized, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Having her do the show in our home was effortless, entertaining, and overall a wonderful experience for everyone!"

"I loved it so much. They teach you about the animals and you get to touch them! Rachel did a really wonderful job" 

Birthday girl and Mom, Chantilly VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:12:19+00:00

Birthday girl and Mom, Chantilly VA

"I loved it so much. They teach you about the animals and you get to touch them! Rachel did a really wonderful job" 

"I am so glad we hired Reptiles Alive for my son's birthday. CobraCaroline and all her reptiles were a huge hit! All the kids loved...

Elizabeth Poppi, Mom, Reston VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:12:52+00:00

Elizabeth Poppi, Mom, Reston VA

"I am so glad we hired Reptiles Alive for my son's birthday. CobraCaroline and all her reptiles were a huge hit! All the kids loved it! Even those who seemed a little reluctant were reaching out to pe the animals at the end. Caroline's energy and enthusiasm was contagious and we couldn't have asked for more!"

"The program was outstanding. Caroline was so knowledgeable and was able to teach the children at their level. She handled the animals very professionally and...

Joan L. Mancuso, Director Potomac Nursery School

5.0
2017-01-02T09:13:30+00:00

Joan L. Mancuso, Director Potomac Nursery School

"The program was outstanding. Caroline was so knowledgeable and was able to teach the children at their level. She handled the animals very professionally and the hands on experience for the children was well received. I would highly recommend this program--both for our age group (3-4 yr olds) and for elementary school children."
5.0
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Fax: (703) 560-7531