Creature Feature : Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon

Pogona vitticeps

Reptiles Alive name: “Mr. Beardie”beardieportrait

Hissstory: Mr. Beardie was an unwanted pet that came to live with us in 2006.

RA Diet: Mr. Beardie likes to eat: crickets, super worms, roaches, dead mice, greens, fruits and dry food made for bearded dragons.

Natural Diet: Bearded dragons are omnivores – so they eat both meat and plants.  Insects, small animals, greens, fruits, and flowers are all part of their diet in the wild.

Range: Central Australia.

Habitat: Bearded dragons live in the “Outback” – desert and open woodland where they bask on branches and rocks.

Size: Bearded dragons are medium sized lizards that can grow to 16 – 22 inches long.

Lifespan: Bearded dragons can live over 10 years.

Reproduction: Female bearded dragons lay 11-30 oval eggs in a shallow nest dug in the sand. The babies will hatch about two months later.

Conservation: Australia has banned the exportation of its native wildlife for the pet trade, so any bearded dragons sold as pets in the United States have been captively bred here.

Cool Facts: When threatened, bearded dragons puff out their spiky bodies and throat so they become bigger and spikier!  Predators will usually avoid the sore throat they would get from swallowing such a prickly meal.

Reptiles Alive LLC 2010 Annual Wildlife Exhibitor Report

We have been very busy performing shows at:  schools, birthday parties, scout meetings, libraries, summer camps, parks, nature centers, festival, fairs, shopping centers, senior centers, toy stores, and all kinds of other special events.  Between September 30, 2009 through October 1, 2010  we performed a total of 792 programs for approximately 61, 100 people of all ages.

A new show, “Wetlands Alive!”, was introduced this summer.  Our Wildlife Educator Rachel Walker produced the new show which introduces audiences to the importance of wetlands and features some really cool animals including an alligator, water monitor lizard, snapping turtle and more.  This show is now being offered as a school assembly, scout show or library show.  The teacher’s guide to “Wetlands Alive!” should be finished soon, and we will post it on our site.

In addition to performing shows, we provided help to injured wildlife and abandoned exotic pets.  Box turtles hit by cars, snakes caught on glue traps, and a stray albino Burmese python found in a park in Fairfax City are just some of the animals we were able to help this year.

We also provided advice and assistance to local animal shelters, animal control agencies and the public with reptile related issues.  A large collection of exotic snakes was turned in at a local animal shelter and two Reptiles Alive staff people worked with the shelter staff to make sure each animal was housed and cared for properly until it could be adopted or transferred to a reptile rescue group.

There have been a few new additions to the team at Reptiles Alive.  Brad Pratt is our new Wildlife Educator and Lead Animal Keeper.  We also now have Amaya Perez who is both an Animal Keeper and a graphic designer for us.  Our new iguana t-shirts, postcards, show posters and other designs are created by Amaya.  You can check out many of her designs at our new online store.

The animal collection went through a few changes this year as well.  Sadly, a few of our older animals died this year including our:  Eastern glass lizard, tokay gecko, and both of our marine toads.  New animals we accepted into the collection included a:  crested gecko, white lined gecko, and a young iguana we named “Juan Amigo.”

2010 Reptiles Alive Animal Inventory

African Spurred Tortoise 1 Geochelone sulcata
American Alligator 2 Alligator missipiensis
American Toad 2 Bufo americanus americanus
Ball Python 1 Python regius
Bearded Dragon 1 Pogona vitticeps
Black Rat Snake 1 Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta
Blue Tongue Skink 2 Teliqua scincoides
Boa Constrictor 2 Boa constrictor constrictor
Bull Frog 2 Rana catesbeiana
Bull Snake 1 Pituophis melanoleucus
Burmese Python 3 Python molurus bivittatus
California King Snake 2 Lampropeltis getula californiae
Central Asian Tortoise 1 Testudo horsefieldi
Cope’s Gray Treefrog 3 Hyla chrysoscelis
Crested Gecko 1 Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Corn Snake 1 Elaphe guttata guttata
Earthworm 25+ Eisenia fetida
Eastern Box Turtle 1 Terrapene carolina carolina
Eastern Snapping Turtle 1 Chelydra serpentina 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 1 Eublepharis macularius
Leopard Tortoise 1 Geochelone pardalis
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches 25+ Gromphadorina portentosa
Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake 1 Leioheterodon madagascarensis
Mealworm 1000 Tenebrio molitar
Mexican Red Leg Tarantula 1 Aphonopelum bicoloratum
Nelson’s Milksnake 1 Lampropeltis triangulum nelsonii
Nile Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus niloticus
Prehensile-tailed Skink 1 Corucia zebrata
Schneider’s Skink 1 Eumeces schneideri
Spiny Softshell Turtle 1 Apalone spinifera
Spotted Salamander 1 Ambystoma maculatum
Spotted Turtle 1 Clemmys guttata
Sudan Plated Lizard 1 Gerrhosaurus major
Tegu Lizard 1 Tupinambis teguixin
Tokay Gecko 1 Gekko gecko
Uromastyx Lizard 1 Uromastyx acanthurus
Water Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus salvator
White Line Gecko 1 Gecko vittatus
Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle 1 Podocnemis unifilis

Creature Feature: Cobra Caroline

Caroline Seitz

Director/Founder of Reptiles Alive LLC

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Reptiles Alive Name: Cobra Caroline (aka The Reptile Lady)

Hisstory: Cobra Caroline performed her first live reptile show in public when she was 9 years old.  She continued presenting wildlife education programs through high school and college and then worked a few years at various zoos and nature centers.  In 1996, she founded “The Reptile Lady” which would soon become “Reptiles Alive LLC.”

RA Diet: Favorite lunch time items for Cobra Caroline include banh mi sandwiches, BLT’s with homegrown tomatoes, and anything her mom cooks for  her.

Natural Diet: Cobra Caroline is an opportunistic omnivore.  She will eat both plants and animals, including seafood.  Her diet is variable depending on the seasons.  Winter  foods may include slow cooked soups and stews,  where as summer fare typically includes vegetables grown in her garden and fish and crabs from the Chesapeake Bay.

Range: Although Cobra Caroline was born in Arlington and has lived her whole life in northern Virginia, she spends much of her time traveling, especially to Reno, NV where her father lives.  She also has had special opportunities to spend time on the Big Island of Hawaii where her brother lives and works as a sea turtle biologist.

Habitat: You could find Cobra Caroline in many different habitats.  If you are on the road, look for driving the reptile van to a show.  You might see her performing a show at a school, library, festival, or other venue.  She manages the office, so she spends a lot of time on the phone and on the computer.  And she supervises the animal collection, so she spends time monitoring the health and care of the animals here.  WHEW – she is everywhere!

Size: Don’t be fooled by Cobra Caroline’s size.  At 5 feet tall, she is more than capable of handling a giant python, capturing a crocodile, or carrying a heavy tortoise.

Lifespan: Cobra Caroline could live to 80 years or more.

Reproduction: Cobra Caroline has successfully raised many plants and vegetables into a beautiful home garden.

Conservation: Since she was 4 years old, Cobra Caroline has dedicated her life to teaching other people how important snakes and other animals are to our environment. She spent her childhood learning about nature by reading books, writing in her nature journal, and spending copious amounts of time in the swamp near her house searching for snakes, frogs, insects and other creatures.  She started volunteering at nature centers and zoos as a teenager and became a Virginia Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator when she was 18.  Wildlife conservation IS Caroline’s life.

Cool Facts: After graduating from George Mason University with a B.A. in Speech Communication, Cobra Caroline spent some years working a variety of fun jobs.  She worked as a park naturalist at Hidden Pond Nature Center;  a park ranger Mason Neck State Park where she lead canoe trips into bald eagle habitats and a wildlife educator at a zoo where she performed shows with monkeys, kinkajous, exotic birds, and other animals.  One of her strangest jobs was working for an animal removal company as a “Snake Removal Technician.”  This involved spending hours crawling through dirty and sometimes scary crawlspaces and attics searching for snakes and inspecting the facility to figure out how to stop them from getting in.

Cobra Caroline feels lucky every day – as the director of Reptiles Alive, she gets to “work” at job she loves.  She can’t imagine doing anything else.

Reptiles Alive! After School Enrichment Program

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Snakes, scales, and lizard tails are just a few of the things we are learning about in the Reptiles Alive After School Enrichment Program.

Students love attending our hands-on live animal after school program.  During each class, a professional Reptiles Alive wildlife educator introduces students to different live animals including slimy amphibians, spiky iguanas, grinning alligators, creepy crawlies, laughing lizards and more.  Interesting artifacts such as skeletons, antlers, eggs, and skins are also included in many of the programs.  Story-telling, arts & craft activities, and fun experiments combined with live exotic animals, make this a very popular program.

Activities during our classes include safely touching live snakes, turtles, and lizards and handling skulls, bones, skins and other natural artifacts.  We might: search for animals in a population survey; slip in slime to discover the properties of frog mucus; help train a couple of animals; measure the world’s biggest snake; find out what it’s like to be a zoo keeper; start a nature journal; and more!

Our after school classes are great for grades k-3 or 3-6.  We have a maximum of 19 students allowed so that each student gets an up close and personal experience.  Schools and PTA’s are booking for the current school year now.  If you are interested in bringing this wildly exciting class to your school this year, please give us a call at 703 560-0257 or send us an email at reptilesalive@gmail.com.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

  1. Dulles Town Center Reptiles Alive Show

    February 22 @ 10:00 am - 10:45 am
  2. Reptiles Alive Show at Doodlehopper 4 Kids

    February 25 @ 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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."
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Phone: (703) 560-0257
Fax: (703) 560-7531