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

Creature Feature: Mexican Blood Leg Tarantula

Mexican Blood Leg Tarantula

Aphonopelma bicolouratum

Reptiles Alive Name: “Chewbacca”

Hissstory:
 Chewie was one of 8 tarantulas, one scorpion, and one savannah monitor lizard that were rescued from a house fire by Fairfax County Animal Control in April of 2006.  Due to zoning laws, the owner was not allowed to have his animals returned to him, so we were given custody of all of the rescued animals.

RA Diet:
 Chewie’s favorite food are crickets.

Natural Diet:
 Tarantulas will eat insects, birds, lizards, and even small mammals.
Tarantula-red

Range: Mexican blood leg tarantulas are native to Mexico and South Texas.

Habitat: Blood leg tarantulas are found in deserts where they spend most of their time hiding in burrows.

Size:
 Blood legs are a relatively small tarantula, growing to about 3 1/2 to 5 inches

Lifespan:
 Female tarantulas can live over 30 years – males do not live nearly as long.

Reproduction:
 Tarantulas construct a golf ball sized egg sac out of silk. The female tarantula will care for her eggs by turning the egg sac on a regular basis. One egg sac may contain over two thousand eggs.

Conservation:
 Tarantulas form a vital part of the desert’s food web.   They control insect populations by eating them, and then, tarantulas are eaten by other animals such as lizards, birds, and mammals.

Cool Facts: Tarantulas rarely harm humans. They prefer to use the itchy hairs on their abdomen to irritate any animal that bothers them. The venom from tarantulas found in North America is not any more dangerous to people than bee venom.  The best thing to do whenever you see an animal is to just leave it alone.

Creature Feature: Nelson’s Milksnake

Nelson’s Milk Snake

Lampropeltis triangulum nelsoni

100_0882-300x225

Creature Feature: Nelson’s Milksnake

Reptiles Alive Name: “Milkshake”

Hissstory: We received Milkshake from a reptile rescue group in 2004.

RA Diet: Milkshake does not actually drink milkshakes.  He much prefers defrosted frozen mice.

Natural Diet: Milk snakes have a varied diet including birds, small mammals, lizards, and other snakes – even venomous snakes!

Range: Nelson’s milk snakes are found in Mexico and Central America.

Habitat: Nelson’s milk snakes live in dry woodlands and rocky areas.  They spend most of their time hiding underground in burrows or rock crevices.

Size: Nelson’s milk snakes can grow 14-18 inches long.

Life Span: Milk snakes can live 15 years or more.

Reproduction: Female milk snakes lay 3-8 eggs in July.  The eggs typically begin hatching in September.

Cool Facts: 
Only mammals drink milk, so why name a snake a “milk snake?”  No one knows for sure how the milk snake got its name, but some people believe that when the first Europeans began settling in the eastern United States a farmer saw a snake biting the udder of a cow.  It is physically impossible for a snake to milk a cow. Perhaps the cow had stepped on the snake and the snake was trying to get the cow to move.

The milk snakes include species and sub-species living throughout North, Central, and South America.  They range in color, but most have a “tri-color” pattern of red, black, and yellow or white bands around their body.  Although this pattern makes them similar in appearance to the venomous coral snakes, milk snakes are completely harmless to humans.

Creature Feature: Hissing Roaches

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Gromphadorhina portentosa

Reptiles Alive Name: Too many to name

Hissstory: Our first few hissing roaches were donated to us by Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington, VA.  Within a few months, we had lots, lots more.

RA Diet:
 Chopped leafy greens, vegetables, monkey chow, dog food, fruit, leftovers. (Hey, they are roaches they like leftovers!)

hissingroachs

Natural Diet: Roaches are scavengers – they will eat dead and decaying plants and animals laying on the forest floor.

Range: Madagascar

Habitat: Hissing roaches live in the tropical rain forests of Madagascar.

Size: 
Hissing roaches are a relatively a large roach, growing to about 3 inches.

Lifespan: Hissing roaches live for about two years.

Reproduction:
 Male hissing roaches have two large bumps on the tops of their heads. They use them to battle for females just like goats do. After mating, females will keep the eggs inside her body until they hatch. Gestation is 60-70 days. Females have about 30 young

Conservation: Cockroaches are one of the most important species on our planet!  As decomposers, they create soil by eating decaying plants and animals.  Without decomposers like cockroaches, plants and trees could not grow.  Without plants and trees, animals and humans could not survive.  So, you might not want to live with, hug, or kiss a cockroach, but cockroaches are a super important animal.

Cool Facts: Hissing roaches produce a hissing noise by pushing air through holes in their abdomen. There are at least five different hisses.  Different hisses are used in courtship, to defend territory, and warn of danger.

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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