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!

 

A Giant Delivery

SOME NEW ENCLOSURES

I was called in to be an extra pair of hands last week for the delivery of some new enclosures from Animal Plastics.  Why was the help needed you ask?  These babies were being delivered from a semi truck!semidelivery

We have a very long winding driveway with some sharp curves up a hill here at Reptiles Alive.  There was no way, no how that semi was going to make it up that driveway.

We had three ways of getting this very large and heavy package up that driveway.

  1. Slide the whole thing into Caroline’s Van and drive it up the hill
  2. Strap that bad boy on to my wheeled cart and pull it like a couple of mules up the driveway.
  3. Take out the knifes and cut the package open and carry it up piece by piece. (My least favorite option.)

The van was driven down the hill for plan #1. The side doors were slid open and… That was SO not going to happen!  The box was enormous! Ok, how about the back door?  HA!  Are you kidding me?

Ok… now what?  I was getting psyched up for plan #2 when who happens to be walking by with his dog?  Jeff our neighborhood life saver!  This good Samaritan offers his work truck to haul our dilemma up the hill for us.  Hooray!

Jeff, my man, if it were not for you we would have been schlepping that thing up the hill all afternoon.  My legs would have fallen off!  Many thanks.

We had no problem transferring the cages into the building from the smaller truck.  As soon as we have some time to do some massive rearranging in the reptile room, we will be tackling the assembly of these beasts.  I have to say, even in pieces the cages sure look like beauties.  Thank you Animal Plastics!

Look for a future posting with assembly and drama when we construct new homes for an iguana and water monitor!

thanksjeff
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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