Spring Changes at Reptiles Alive!

We are having a spring full of changes here at Reptiles Alive LLC.  We are welcoming some great new animals into our animal star collection and a great new animal keeper to help care for our critters – new and old.

Coming out of quarantine this month are two new snakes:  Sunglow the albino boa constrictor and Pumpkin the Pueblan milk snake.  At Reptiles Alive LLC we quarantine our new animals for at least 3 months before taking them to public events.  During this time, the new animals are given thorough health checks and evaluated for temperament.  We want to be sure the animals we bring to our education programs are healthy and relaxed before we take them out into public.  Look for Sunglow and Pumpkin to begin starring in shows this month.

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Pumpkin the Pueblan Milk Snake

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Sunglow the albino Boa Constrictor

 

We also received two new animals that will be starting their quarantine period.  A young tegu lizard and an American toad have just joined our collection.  We have named the new toad “Toad Truck” and are thinking of naming the tegu “Alex” since we adopted him from the Alexandria Animal Welfare League (AWLA).

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Toad Truck the American Toad

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Keeper LizardLiz with Alex the Tegu

Joanne Fujito, a full-time animal nurse at Southpaws Emergency Veterinary Clinic, has joined our animal keeper staff as a back up keeper. Jo brings with her a tremendous amount of experience caring for and handing all kinds of animals and we are very excited to have her assisting in the care of the Reptiles Alive animals.

On sad note, we said a final goodbye to a long time animal team member.  Our water monitor lizard Splash was euthanized at the beginning of the month because of severe arthritis.  He was at least 15 years old- possibly older. We received him from the AWLA back in 2006 when he was found stuck in a drain pipe in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  He was very curious, intelligent, and had a great personality.  All of the RA staff that met him have a special place in their heart for this awesome lizard. Splash – you will be missed.

kids parties - animal birthday shows - petting zoos

Goodbye old buddy

 

 

POSITION FILLED – Job Opening at Reptiles Alive LLC

Job Opening at Reptiles Alive LLC

POSITION NOW CLOSED

Wildlife Educator / Reptile Show Presenter

We are looking for a reliable, responsible, and energetic person who loves reptiles, kids, and public speaking.

PART TIME, FLEXIBLE schedule:

5-10 (more or less) hours per week (primarily weekends and evenings, with weekday work available in June/July/August)

Pay: $75 – $125 per program performed

Location: Our facility is located in Annandale, VA. Educator will perform programs throughout the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. area.

Duties: The educator will present educational live animal shows for a variety of audiences including: childrens’ birthday parties, preschool & school programs, camps, special events, and more. The educator will safely handle a variety of live amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles (including non-venomous snakes.)

Requirements:

-Must be extremely responsible, reliable, safety conscious and able to work unsupervised

-Comfortable speaking confidently and enthusiastically while entertaining large audiences of all ages, especially young children

-Comfortable handling live snakes, large lizards, and other exotic animals in a safe and professional manner

-Pass a national background check

-High school diploma

-Valid driver’s license with clean driving record

-Ability to lift 50 pounds

-A reliable car, van, or covered truck that will be used to drive with live animals to show locations

Preferred applicants will have experience:

-Developing and presenting animal/environmental education programs

-Working with reptiles and amphibians 

-Driving in the Washington DC Metro area

-College courses in biology, natural history, public speaking or communication

Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to:

Caroline Seitz

reptilesalive@gmail.com

Website: www.reptilesalive.com

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Fun With Kids & Nature: Vernal Pools!

Fun With Kids & Nature: Vernal Pools!

Are the kids antsy for winter to be over? Are you looking for a fun idea for the family to get outside and welcome the change to spring?

Head out one evening to a vernal pool near you and introduce your children to an epic annual event. The massing of millions of amphibians to mate and lay eggs only occurs once a year. In the Washington DC area, this would be during mid to late February through March on a warm evening (55 F or above) during or after rain.

Vernal pools are special habitats that fill with rainwater in the fall, winter, and spring and typically dry up in the summer.  Because these pools are not permanent, fish are not able to survive. Without fish to eat their eggs or larvae, amphibians such as spring peeper, wood frogs, and spotted salamanders are able to utilize vernal pools to lay their eggs.

A vernal pool is probably closer to your home than you think.

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Wetlands area behind ballfields – perfect for Spring Peepers or Chorus Frogs

 

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Spring Peeper

 

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Vernal Pool in ditch filled with Wood Frog eggs

 

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Wood Frog Eggs

 

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Wood Frog

 

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Vernal Pool with emerging Skunk Cabbage behind an office building next to the Beltway in Fairfax VA

A great way to find a vernal pool is to listen for the loud, piercing “PEEP!” of Spring Peepers peeping, usually in the evening, but occasionally during the day as well. Follow the frog chorus and it will lead you to an area where there is probably a vernal pool or at least a wetland of some sort.

 

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Spring Peeper Peeping

If it is close to dark, give everyone a flashlight or headlamp and head out. Once you arrive at the vernal pool, let your family know to keep their eyes and ears open.  You may see see the tiny Spring Peeper frogs, but you are more likely to hear them. Larger and easier to see are Wood Frogs which make a call similar to the quacking of ducks. Spotted Salamanders are silent, however they are spectacular!  They grow up to 8 inches in length, are shiny black and usually have rows of bright yellow spots on their back.

Kids may want to catch or handle the frogs and their eggs. Teach how to be respectful of animals while encouraging excitement about the natural world. Be sure hands are wet and chemical-free when handling amphibians or eggs. Be gentle and return any captured animals or eggs to the spot they were found. To stop the spread of disease among amphibian populations, when you get home be sure to wash hands with soap and water after touching any animals and disinfect shoes and any nets, buckets, or other materials that came into contact with animals, eggs, or the habitat with a 10% bleach/water solution.

The awesomeness of an up-close experience in the wild with amazing animals that only appear once per year is an activity your family will never forget.

 

Tips For a Fun Winter Kids Party with Reptiles Alive

6 Tips for a Fun & Easy Winter Kids Party with Reptiles Alive

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African savanna monitor lizard HannaSavanna all ready to head to a winter birthday party.

Although Spring is just around the corner, winter is not quite finished yet.  If your child has a birthday in the winter months, a Reptiles Alive party is a super-fun choice.  Here are tips to help make your party a wild success!

1. Book your show as early as possible.  Sometimes we are able to fit birthday shows in at the last minute, so contact us even if you party is the next day! However, the earlier you book with us, the more likely it is that your first choice of a date and time will be available in our schedule. You can easily book your Reptiles Alive show on our online booking page.

2. Plan your guest list.  Smaller groups are usually more fun for the birthday person, guests, and parents, especially with young children. A general suggestion is to invite the child’s age + 2. For example, at a 4 year old’s party, 6 guests would be invited. And a winter party usually means an indoor party, another reason to keep the guest list short. Of course a small guest list is not always possible, so we offer reptile party shows for small groups and big groups too!  See both options on our party page.

3. Anticipate the weather.  In the Washington DC area, even a tiny amount of snow can cause complete gridlock which can stop both guests and our animals from getting to the party.  At Reptiles Alive, we offer to refund or reschedule any show cancelled due to snow/ice.  It is a good idea to keep up with the weather forecast for the day of your show. If snow/ice is predicted, consider rescheduling for another date.

4. Plan the menu. Is this a cake and ice cream only party, or will you also be serving lunch, dinner, or even breakfast?  A great idea for a fun indoor activity is for guests to decorate their own cupcakes.  Pre-bake or buy plain iced cupcakes and then set out a cupcake fixins bar.  Since this is a reptile-themed party, edible reptile themed sprinkles and gummy worms (as snakes) can be offered along with other colorful fun toppings.

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These amazing cakes were at Reptiles Alive parties.

5. Plan fun indoor activities. Set up a big table as a coloring station with fresh crayons, plain white paper and reptile coloring pages printed from our kids page. Play indoor games that children already know and give the game a reptile twist.  Examples include “pin the tongue on the snake” or “a snake egg hunt.”  A whole list of fun activity ideas, craft projects, games, and more listed on our party ideas page.

6. Keep it simple.  Most parties need only last 2 hours.  Expect guests to arrive a bit late.  An example of a typical cake & ice cream (no main meal being served) party would be:

1-1:30 pm   Guest arrivals/Coloring table time/Easy game time

1:30-2:15 pm Reptiles Alive show

2:15-2:20 pm Wash Hands

2:20-2:45 pm Decorate cup cakes/Sing Happy Birthday/Eat cupcakes (or cake) and ice cream

2:45-3 pm Easy game/activity

3 pm  Guests depart

Have a few easy backup games at the ready in case guests finish activities more quickly than expected. And if you are lucky enough to have a nice day and a fenced in backyard, send the kids outside to play.

You are always welcome to contact Reptiles Alive for more kids party ideas and information – we are happy to help in any way to make your party a sssssuper ssssucess!

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Rockin’ReptileRachel delights two birthday girls with Elvis the king snake.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

  1. Fall for Fairfax KIDSFEST with Reptiles Alive!

    September 30 @ 12:30 pm - 3:45 pm
  2. Showcase Event in Rockville

    October 2 @ 10:30 am - 10:45 am
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