Helping out Hibernating Turtles

Would you like to give box turtles a helping hand this winter?  As the weather gets colder, box turtles begin searching for their hibernation hide-outs.  Watch this video to learn how you can create habitat for turtles and other wildlife to use for hibernation this winter.

How You Can Help Turtles Hibernate

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Reptiles Alive LLC 2014 Annual Wildlife Exhibitor Report

What a TOADALLY awesome year this has been at Reptiles Alive LLC!  A year full of great shows, great clients, and great RA team members!

caroline and boom boom kiss

From October 2013 through September 2014, we presented 790 education programs – exactly the same number as last year!  (How weird is that?)  Our audience reach was up from last year to approximately 61,400 people who enjoyed our shows.  We returned to present at many of the same schools, events, and libraries that we visit every year such as The Fairfax, Loudoun, and Montgomery County and DC Public Libraries,  Doodlehopper 4 Kids, National Harbor and so many more great places and events.  We also enjoyed meeting new folks at new events including the Fredericksburg Pet Expo, The Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington’s Eye Run, The Historic Henrico Theater, and at all the schools, scouts, and private parties that had us for the first time this year.  So much fun and herpetological education going on!

We would not be able to present so many great programs without our invaluable team of wildlife educators.  Rockin’ReptileRachel performed the most with 373 shows reaching approximately 29,200 people.  Coming in second was CobraCaroline with 180 shows reaching 19,200 people.  TuataraTony presented 137 shows reaching 6,050 people and SidewinderStephen presented 100 shows and reached 7,000 people.

Of course, there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes both in our office and our animal care.   SidewinderStephen has become an accomplished animal keeper here at RA.  He is an expert at managing our animal collection and has gotten to know each of our animals as individuals.  When asked if he has a favorite RA animal, he says “That’s a really hard question!  I guess if I have to pick it would be Splash (our water monitor lizard) or Hannah (our savanna monitor lizard.)  They seem to have such great personalities.”

day in the life 5

New animals we added to our permanent collection this year are:

2 Australian Green Treefrogs Litoria caerulea  – donated to us as unwanted pets

2 Eastern Rat Snakes Pantherophis alleghaniensis – one was an unwanted pet left at a vet clinic and one was found inside a school building!

1 Leopard Gecko Eublepharis macularius – donated to us as an unwanted pet

1 Argentine Horned Frog Ceratophrys ornata  – received as a captive bred froglet 🙂

Transferred or Deceased Animals:

1 Copes Gray Treefrog Hyla chrysocelis – died due to unknown causes

1 Eastern King Snake Lampropeltis getula getula – transferred to a nature center

1 Marbled Salamander Ambystoma opacum – died due to unknown causes

1 White Lined Gecko Geckko vittatus – transferred to a naturalist

1 Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtle Podocnemis unifilis – died due to a systemic bacterial infection that did not respond to medical treatment  (we miss you Podoc!)

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Reptiles Alive! LLC 2014 Animal Inventory
 
African Spurred Tortoise 1 Geochelone sulcata
American Alligator 2 Alligator missipiensis
American Toad 2 Anaxyrus americanus
Argentine Horned Frog 1 Ceratophres ornata
Australian Green Treefrog 4 Litoria caerulea
Ball Python 1 Python regius
Bearded Dragon 2 Pogona vitticeps
Blue Tongue Skink 3 Teliqua scincoides
Boa Constrictor 4 Boa constrictor constrictor
Bull Frog 2 Rana catesbeiana
Burmese Python 1 Python molurus bivittatus
California King Snake 2 Lampropeltis getula californiae
Central Asian Tortoise 1 Testudo horsefieldi
Crested Gecko 1 Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Corn Snake 2 Pantherophis guttatus
Earthworm 25+ Eisenia fetida
Eastern Box Turtle 1 Terrapene carolina carolina
Eastern Rat Snake 3 Pantherophis obsoletus
Eastern Snapping Turtle 1 Chelydra serpintena serpentina
Garden Slug 5 Limax maximus
Green Iguana 2 Iguana iguana
Haitian Brown Tarantula 1 Phormictophis cancerides
Haitian Cockroach 25 + Blaberus sp.
Honduran Milk Snake 2 Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis
House Cricket 1000 Acheta domestica
Kenyan Sand Boa 1 Eryx colubrinus loveridgei
Leopard Gecko 2 Eublepharis macularius
Leopard Tortoise 1 Geochelone pardalis
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches 25+ Gromphadorina portentosa
Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake 1 Leioheterodon madagascarensis
Marbled Salamander 1 Ambystoma opacum
Mealworm 1000 Tenebrio molitar
Nelson’s Milksnake 1 Lampropeltis triangulum nelsonii
Northern Diamondback Terrapin 1 Malaclemys terrapin
Pacific Gopher Snake 1 Pituophis catenifer catenifer
Prehensile-tailed Skink 1 Corucia zebrata
Savannah Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus exanthematicus
Spiny Softshell Turtle 1 Apalone spinifera
Spotted Salamander 1 Ambystoma maculatum
Spotted Turtle 1 Clemmys guttata
Sudan Plated Lizard 1 Gerrhosaurus major
Tegu Lizard 2 Tupinambis teguixin
Uromastyx Lizard 1 Uromastyx acanthurus
Water Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus salvator
Western Hognose Snake 1 Heterodon nasicus

 

Five Tips on Hiring Live Animal School Assemblies

September is here and you have been put in charge of hiring this year’s school assembly performers and special classroom visitors.  You have so many great options: musical performances, dance companies, history actors and so much more.  But when you ask students which assemblies they remember most, love the best, and want to see every year you’ll hear “bring the animals!”

It is no secret that kids love animals.  Reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and all kinds of creatures have the ability to catch students’ attention more than any video screen ever will.  The trick is to hire the best quality, and most professional animal presenters.

rachel assembly 1

Here are 5 tips on getting the best animal show for your school’s assembly budget.

1.  Finding Your Animal Assembly

Does your school or school district have access to a list or catalog of approved school performers?  This is the FIRST place to look.  In Northern Virginia, Bluemont Artists in Education  offers a list of approved performers who have demonstrated their show’s educational value and professionalism.  Of course, if your school is located in the DC/MD/VA area, you call Reptiles Alive!  🙂

A second option is a Google search for animal shows in your area.  Try search terms such as “school assemblies in [your area]” or “live animal shows in [your area]”.

2.  Choosing Your Animal Assembly

Once you have a list of choices, now it’s time to do some research.  Is the company licensed by your state to present live animal shows in public?  Is the company fully insured with both liability and workers compensation?  Can the company provide you with references from previous schools?

Animal shows for schools need to be ultra safe and educational.  Keep in mind that the most professional and experienced animal presenters with the appropriate insurance may also be more expensive than less experienced or amateur presenters.  Don’t make the mistake of choosing a live animal show based on price alone.

3.  Before Booking Your Animal Assembly

You will need to gather the following  information from your school’s principal, PTA president, or whoever is ultimately in charge:

  • What is the maximum budget you are allowed to spend on the show?
  • How many students will be attending each show (keep in mind that smaller groups are better and keeping the grade levels close, ex K-2nd and then 3rd-5th is smart)?
  • How many shows will you need?
  • What times will you need the shows?
  • What dates are available and desired in the school’s calendar and performance space?
  • Will you have a parking space available for the performer to load/unload safely and efficiently?
  • Will you be able to pay a deposit?  What are your school’s standard payment terms for school assembly performers?
  • Does the school require the performer to submit a Certificate of Insurance and if so, what, if any, special language will need to be on the Certificate?

 4.  Booking Your Animal Assembly Show

Contact the animal show company as soon as possible as many performers book up early and quickly.  At Reptiles Alive LLC, we often book shows more than a year in advance!   Be sure to follow the company’s instructions on what you’ll need to do to confirm the booking,  including signing contracts, paying a deposit, and reading any preparation materials.

Many animal show companies provide teacher’s guides and other resource materials for their assemblies.  If these materials are available, be sure to pass them along to the teachers.

At school, remember to “officially” reserve the room the assembly will be in. Let the principal and/or custodian know of any set up needs the performer will have that day.  Let the office staff know the date/time of the assembly and add the date to the school’s calendar.

5.  The Day of Your Animal School Assembly

A day or two before your assembly, contact the animal show company to confirm the date and times of your show (most performers will contact you to confirm).  Find out what time they plan to arrive and double check with them what they will need from you for the performance (parking, tables, nearby electric outlet, etc…)

On the day of your show, remember to have a parking spot reserved and the assembly room ready.  Remind the office staff of the show so they know where to send the presenter when he/she arrives to set up.

Then enjoy your ssssuper happy animal assembly day!

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Looking Back at a WILD Summer!

One WILDLY awesome summer was had here at Reptiles Alive!  We performed more shows than ever at more libraries, camps, festivals, and all kinds of special summer events.  Here is a quick  look back at the summer of 2014.

SidewinderStephen and a new Reptile Ranger team member!

SidewinderStephen and a new Reptile Ranger team member!

cv and boa at warl

CobraCaroline at the Washington Animal Rescue League’s summer animal camp

Our box turtle driving to a show....

Our box turtle driving to a show….

 

B.A. the gator letting us know how he feels about working in the morning.

B.A. the gator letting us know how he feels about working in the morning.

Two new American TOADIES are enjoying their home at RA.

Two new American TOADIES are enjoying their home at RA.

Keeper SidewinderStephen workin' real hard.

Keeper SidewinderStephen workin’ real hard.

Rockin'ReptileRachel and, well, hello there - you're not a reptile!

Rockin’ReptileRachel and, well, hello there – you’re not a reptile!

TuataraTony with his best pal Boanita.

TuataraTony with his best pal Boanita.

We are now ready for an even more WILDLY awesome fall!  Ssssee you all ssssoon!

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UPCOMING EVENTS

  1. Eagle Festival at Mason Neck State Park

    May 11, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  2. FREE Public Reptiles Alive show in Locust Grove VA

    July 23, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 3:45 pm
We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade class.read more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

Tianchan Niu

Tianchan Niu

22:09 17 Dec 17

We had Reptiles Alive join us for a country club event and they did an outstanding job! Ashley was amazing and so professional. She was very interactive with the children and played the role perfectly. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience!read more

Chelsea Barb

Chelsea Barb

20:20 28 Mar 18

We’ve been working with Reptiles Alive for the past 4 years now and they show up and show out every time. Everything from booking to the day of is efficient and friendly. At our past event, presenter Liz did 6 shows back to back for our campers, which is truly impressive and phenomenal. We will continue to work with Reptiles Alive for years to come and really appreciate the work and educating that they do!read more

Lydia Vanderbilt

Lydia Vanderbilt

21:09 05 Apr 18

Reptiles Alive gave an awesome show at our elementary school! The presenter was so much fun and really engaged the children. Very cool reptiles and a great interactive meet and greet at the end. The kids loved it!read more

Jonathan Grau

Jonathan Grau

14:52 07 Apr 18

I am in charge of grade level assemblies at our school and our 3rd grade has RA in for their Rain Forest show every year to reinforce the things they have learned about in class. This is my second year working with them and I have been absolutely thrilled with the interaction to book the event and with the presenters. They engage the kids and help make them a part of the show. I can’t say enough about this wonderful program and the amazing people that work there.read more

Kim Painter

Kim Painter

23:32 07 Apr 18

We love this show at our preschool!! The kids have so much fun and learn a lot! They are very organized and always start on time. We have always had a wonderful experience with Reptiles Alive and can’t wait to have them back again!read more

Melissa Jones

Melissa Jones

15:06 20 Apr 18

Reptiles Alive LLC visited our 1st grade friends and did the “Reptiles Alive!” show. They exceeded all of our expectations and were excellent at keeping the students engaged. The students have talked about it for days after, even repeating some of the facts they have heard! I would highly recommend Reptiles Alive!read more

Brittney Gjorgjievski

Brittney Gjorgjievski

16:12 14 May 18

Reptiles Alive was a MAJOR hit at the Mattie Miracle Walk & Family Festival. Rachel was incredibly professional, engaging, and clearly loves what she does. She made the show and meet & greet fun for both kids and adults. Can’t wait to have Reptiles Alive back next year to our event. We received a lot of positive feedback from our guests and we were thrilled to see how well attended the show was at our event. Thank you Reptiles Alive!!!read more

Peter Brown

Peter Brown

01:58 22 May 18

Caroline did an awesome job for our kindergarten Reptiles Alive performance. She held their attention and told fun stories. The reptiles are so cool! Every time she introduced a new reptile, the kids were amazed. I recommend the “meet and greet” time as well. My students will never forget touching a boa constrictor! Thanks Reptiles Alive!read more

Michelle Baldwin

Michelle Baldwin

03:00 09 Jun 18

Reptiles Alive! came to our elementary school for a 3rd grade assembly. Nothing ruffles this organization — they can handle kids of all ages, big groups or small, and bring a *ton* of animals. They are engaging, age-appropriate and bring their own mic system so hearing is not a problem. I highly recommend the meet and greet afterward.read more

Stacey Evers

Stacey Evers

19:25 22 Jun 18

The show was a success, we had around 20 kids between 5-12. Lizzard Liz was great, she was able to keep all of them really interested. The reptiles were amazing, she even brought a small alligator and a boa constrictor.read more

florencia behrensen

florencia behrensen

14:39 02 Jul 18

Caroline at Reptiles Alive! always gives us the best show! It is fun and informative with a variety of reptiles each time she comes. We LOVE Reptiles Alive at Happy Faces Daycare in Centreville, VA!read more

Jessica Roberts

Jessica Roberts

13:56 12 Jul 18

Amazing 5-year old birthday party- Everyone loved the party, especially the birthday boy, who got to be the star of the show (besides the critters). Liz was on time, prepared, AMAZING at answering kids’ and adults’ questions, incredible breadth of knowledge, so good with the kids and animals, made the party fun, arrived on time, totally professional and courteous and an amazing ambassador of animals and representative of Reptiles Alive. We got to meet a few great snakes, a small alligator, a boa constrictor(!), tree frog, bearded dragon, gecko, and turtle.read more

Stacey R

Stacey R

12:55 30 Jul 18

This organization is great! They have a wide varieties of different shows that appeal to all types of audiences. The educators are very gentle with the animals and engaging with the students. Our educator, Caroline, was awesome! She spoke to the children in different voices, was very interactive, creative, and fun. The kids laughed and loved it. I also really liked the additional education that they provided us, as they told us about the origin of the animals that they were showing. It was also really nice to hear that not only the animals have big, safe, appropriate homes, but also that a great deal of their animals are rescues. I would highly recommend this show and we will definitely be booking them again in the future!read more

Mandi Ellis

Mandi Ellis

13:05 08 Aug 18

Had Reptile Alive for my son’s 5th birthday in October. The party was in Maryland. Paid the travel fee and the animals were there on time. The presenter was so nice et patient to my kids and his friends. She provided a lot of information and interacted very well with the crowd. She went beyond the show time and made sure my son had a good party. He loved it!! Loved the fact that he could hold most of the animals and that she even had some tasks for him!! I was very proud and I will recommend this company!! It was an awesome show!! Thank you!read more

Linda Nana

Linda Nana

14:55 11 Oct 18

Perfect birthday party for my son who loves snakes and reptiles of all kinds. Liz was engaging, enthusiastic and made the birthday boy feel super special. All the kids had a blast!read more

Hina Ullah

Hina Ullah

22:26 22 Oct 18

We had Reptiles Alive perform at my son’s 7th birthday party. It was a great show. Tony did a fantastic job relating to the kids, maintaining the right energy level and imparting knowledge as he displayed the animals. Additionally, it was just the right length for the age group. I’d highly recommend Reptiles Alive for an event.read more

Gage Parr

Gage Parr

15:04 03 Dec 18