Wildlife Rehabilitation Training

Get involved in helping Virginia’s wildlife!

Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation

Interested in helping wildlife, but not sure where to start? Join the Wildlife Center of Virginia for an introduction to ways in which you can help Virginia’s wild animals. Learn how to determine if a baby animal is really an orphan, what to do if an animal is injured, and where to get the right wildlife advice. Discover ways to get involved, including how to become a permitted wildlife rehabilitator. Discussion will also include wildlife laws, the rehabilitator’s code of ethics, and considerations on becoming a wildlife rehabilitator.
Introduction to Raising Orphaned Birds

This beginner’s course for those obtaining their rehabilitation permit focuses on the rehabilitation of “beginner” species and basics on “intermediate” species of orphaned birds commonly seen in Virginia, including: American Robin, European Starling, Common Grackle, Mourning Dove, Pigeon, Blue Jay, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Purple Finch, House Sparrow and Eastern Bluebird. Natural history, identification, general care, proper nutrition, diet and feeding, housing, release criteria, and problems and solutions are all covered.
Rationalizing Euthanasia in Difficult Trauma Cases

Wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife veterinarians are often presented with train-wreck cases and expected to perform “magic” by healing the animal despite their extensive injuries. In many of these cases, the injuries are not external or may appear minor at first glance however, the injuries may impact the ability of the animal to hunt or gather food, escape predation, reproduce, perform normal behaviors, or act normally within a wild population. This lecture will present a series of terminal trauma cases presented to wildlife referral hospitals and explain the rational for the euthanasia or why the animal could not be released back into the wild.
Date: Sunday, February 28th, 2010
Time: 9:30 am – 11:30 am Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation
11:45 am – 2:45 pm Introduction to Raising Orphaned Birds
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Rationalizing Euthanasia in Difficult Trauma Cases
Location: Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington, VA
Fees: $20 for Intro to Rehab; $25 for Intro to Birds, $20 for Rationalizing Euthanasia. Register for all three classes for $60. Wildlife Rescue League members receive a $5/class discount.
Registration: To register, please call 540-942-9453 or email your name, address, and classes of interest to outreach@wildlifecenter.org. Once received, the outreach coordinator will email a confirmation letter with directions as well as payment instructions. In order to guarantee your place in a class, pre-payment is required. Walk-ins are welcome, but are not guaranteed class manuals or certificates of attendance. Refunds are given if written requests are received five days or more prior to classes. No refunds will be given for cancellations made after the deadline or for no shows.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia, a hospital for native wildlife, teaching the world to care about and care for wildlife and the environment.

Creature Feature: Burmese Python

Burmese Python

Python molurus bivittatus

Reptiles Alive Names: “Sunshine, Moonlight, and Starlight”

Hissstory: Sunshine was abandoned at a carpet warehouse in Sterling, VA in 2000.  The store owner called us to come and get her, and she was in pretty bad shape.  We spent about a year rehabilitating her back to health.  She has been healthy and growing ever since!  Moonlight was rescued by the Virginia Reptile Rescue from a pet store that was closed down and we adopted him in 2009.  Starlight was abandoned  as an unwanted pet at the Alexandria Animal Welfare League where we adopted him in 2009.
sunshine_profile
RA Diet: Two or three frozen and then defrosted triple extra large rats every 2-4 weeks.

Range: India, Burma, and Southeast Asia.

Habitat: Pythons live in rain forests, farmlands, and fields.

Natural Diet: Burmese pythons will eat just about any mammal or bird they can fit into their stomach.

Size: Burmese pythons are one of the biggest snakes in the world.   Their average length is 9-13 feet, but the record length is 23 feet.  They can weigh over 200 pounds.

Lifespan: Burmese pythons can live over 40 years.

Reproduction: Female Burmese pythons can lay up to 100 large eggs, but typically lay 12-36. Unlike most snakes,  mother pythons will coil around eggs and twitch their body to raise the temperature and help incubate the eggs. She will not leave the eggs until they hatch.

Conservation: Burmese pythons  have become an invasive exotic species in southern Florida.  People keeping pythons as pets either illegally released their unwanted animals into the wild or the snakes escaped improper caging.  Either way, no one knows for sure the impact these giant snakes will have on the south Florida ecosystem as they reproduce and consume native animals, including alligators.

Cool Facts:
 Sunshine, Moonlight, and Starlight are all albinos, born without the black or brown pigment called melanin. The brilliant yellows and whites you see on our albino pythons would otherwise be covered over by the brown and black pigments  found on normally patterned snakes.

Creature Feature: Corn Snake

Corn Snake or Red Rat Snake

Pantherophis guttata

Reptiles Alive Name: “Pink & Anakin”

Hissstory:
 Indiana was an unwanted pet that came to us from a reptile rescue group in 2009. Anakin was an unwanted pet that also came to us in 2009.

RA Diet: Indiana likes to dine on frozen mice that have been warmed up.  Yum!Corn_snake

Natural Diet: In the wild, corn snakes will eat mice and other rodents, birds, eggs, and sometimes, bats.

Range: Corn snakes can be found from New Jersey to Florida and west to New Mexico and Colorado.  They are very rare in some parts of their range, and even listed as endangered in certain states.  They are native to the Washington DC area, but they are very rare and thought to be extirpated from the city and close in suburbs.

Habitat: These gorgeous snakes like to hide in woodlands, meadows, and along springs.  They spend most of their time hidden underground or in rock crevices.

Size: Corn snakes average a length of 24-48 inches, the record is 72 inches long.

Lifespan: Corn snakes can live over 20 years old.

Reproduction:
 Corn snakes breed from March to May. Females lay 3-21 eggs in May to July. Babies will hatch in late summer to early fall.

Conservation:
 Due to their beautiful colors and patterns, corn snakes are a popular snake pet.  Because of this, many of them are captured each year to be sold as pets.  The over-collection of corn snakes combined with the urbanization of much of their range  has caused them to become a threatened species in many areas.

Cool Facts: Corn snakes don’t eat corn – in fact, no snake eats vegetables.  All snakes on Earth are carnivores.  So why name a snake after corn?  It is due to the “corny” pattern on their belly.

 

Snow Storm Update

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View from RA HQ

We are completely snowed in here at Reptiles Alive.  Snow started falling last Friday afternoon and piled up about 25 inches around us by late Saturday afternoon.  We have been very lucky to have not lost power – but the only road in or out has remained untouched by plows and is impassable.  Luckily, I am able to get to the animal rooms and office without having to drive.

Now we are once again facing a Winter Storm Warning with the possibility of another 10-20 inches in the next 24 hours combined with high winds at 25 – 40 miles per hour.  We have contacted friends with large 4WD vehicles to help evacuate our animals if our power is lost, so the animals will stay safe.

Our show schedule, however, is in tatters.  The last show we were able to perform was on Friday February 5 in the morning.  Since then, more than a dozen shows and after school classes have been canceled, and I am sure many more will be canceled at least through this Saturday.   If our streets are plowed, I am hoping to be able to get our Wildlife Educators out to perform shows this weekend – but there is a chance we will still be unable to get out.

I am hoping to be able to reschedule many of the canceled shows, but since our calendar is so busy already, I’m sure some of them will not be able to be rescheduled.  Remember our cancellation policy is that if your show is canceled due to snow, and we are not able to reschedule it for you, we will send you a 100% refund.

In the meantime, the well being of our animals is first and foremost.  I will be preparing the animal rooms today for the possibility of losing power.   And, I will be comforted knowing that I have a large group of friends ready to help in the event of a real emergency.

Thank you all so much – Good Luck Everyone!

 

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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