Reptiles Alive needs Your Help

Do you love seeing a professional, exciting, safe and fun live animal show at your school, library, scout meeting, party, or special event?  Are you in favor of inspiring children to care about wildlife and the environment?  How do you feel about small businesses providing jobs and income for families?

RIGHT NOW there is legislation, both passed and impending, causing negative impact professional wildlife educators, environmental education, small businesses and families.

This week, the US Fish & Wildlife Service passed a nonsensical ban on the interstate transport of Burmese pythons and 3 other snake species to protect Everglades National Park.  However, according to USFWS officials who created the ban:  “Although the ban should put a stop to additional pythons entering the country, officials say it will not solve the snake problem in the Everglades. We still have to look at improved management and removal to better protect our habitat.”

So a MAJOR piece of government regulation that will have overreaching negative impacts on families and small businesses across the United States will not even accomplish what it’s intended goal was!!!

Now, there is another looming piece of government regulation.

Proposed Virginia Senate Bill Number 477 will be a major blow to Virginia’s citizens.  Unintended consequences of this ill-conceived legislation will impact everyone from school children to the Virginia tourism industry.

Please take the time to read the bill and reach out to the Virginia Senators involved in this proposal.  Their names and contact information can be found at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+com+S01

You might also consider contacting your local newspaper, radio, or televisions stations to let them know how you feel about the proposed bill.

NEXT – The Reptiles Alive LLC Official Response to Proposed Senate Bill No. 477

Hosting Your School Assembly Performers

The school year is just getting swinging.  You have been given the task of hiring and hosting this year’s school assemblies.  You have finished hiring your performers – now it’s time to get ready for the show.

Step One:  Choosing the Right Location for the Show

A variety of factors make up a good school assembly performance space.

  • Availability – the performer will need time to set up and break down before and after the assemblies, so be sure the space is available during the full time the performer will be at your school.
  • Size – More space is always better than not enough.  Try to secure the largest possible venue for the performance.  Keep in mind the size of your audience and the size of the actual performance space.  Also respect FIRE CODE occupancy limits.   If you think there may not be enough room to accommodate all the audience members plus the performance area , you may need to book extra shows.
  • Access: Most school assembly performers come with a lot of baggage, literally speaking.  PA systems, props, and especially live animals are not easily transported up stairs or for long distances.  Choose  a performance space that is easy to load equipment and animals into.  Try to choose a location is wheelchair accessable (this makes loading with a cart easy.)  If there will be stairs, be sure to let the performer know in advance as stairs may present a problem for some performances.
  • PARKING: Please be sure you have  a close parking spot reserved for your performer.  No Parking = No Performance for us here at Reptiles Alive and for many other performers as well.

STEP TWO:  Know Your Performer’s Show Set Up Requirements

  • Closely read ALL of the paper work the performer has sent you:  contracts, prep sheets, etc…  Contact the performer with any questions you may as soon as possible.  If your performer has not informed you of any specific needs or requirements ASK them BEFORE the date of your assembly.
  • Arrange with your school’s staff to have the performance space set up as needed on the date of the assembly.

Step 3:  The Day of the Show

  • Arrive at the school at or before the approximate arrival time of the performer so you are there to greet them and assist in getting the performer checked into the school, parked, and shown to the performance space.
  • Keep a phone with you that you have given as your emergency contact number for the performer.  This way you will know if the performer is running late or having other trouble getting to your show that day.
  • If the agreement was for payment to be given on the day of the show, make sure to have the signed check in the proper amount ready to give to the performer.

Now, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

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Reptiles Alive LLC 2011 Annual Wildlife Exhibitor Report

Wow – what a ssspectacular year we have had here at Reptiles Alive LLC.  Between September 30, 2010 thru October 1, 2011  we performed 857 educational live animal shows for approximately 55, 500 people of all ages.

As always, we had great fun at all the venues we traveled to including:  schools, libraries, birthday parties, scout meetings, libraries, camps, nature centers, animal shelters, senior centers, and tons of  fairs, festivals, and special events.

We added two new animals to our collection this year.  A Pacific gopher snke we named “Carl Spackler” was donated to us by a former staff member and an anerythristic corn snake we name “Anakin” was an unwanted pet that we were able to provide a home to.  Both animals were quarantined for 3 months while we assessed their health, but now, both snakes are a permanent part of our education collection.

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Carl Spackler the Gopher Snake

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Anakin the Anerythristic Corn Snake

Look for the Gopher snake to star in our “Deserts Alive!” show and for the anerythristic corn snake to help you find out the special secret of the black rat snake in our “Backyards Alive!”show.

Two of our animals passed away this year.  Mr. Pituophis (aka Vader) the Bull snake and our little buddy Schneider the Schneider’s skink.  We loved both of them.  Mr. Pituophis was a big bluffer:  he would huff and puff and hiss, but he was so tame that he was used in making videos with actors who were afraid of snakes!   Schneider was so personable and seemed to always love the attention from our keepers and other people too.  What a great lizard!  We miss them both very much.

Reptiles Alive LLC 2011 Animal Inventory

Common Name Scientific Name Qty
African Spurred Tortoise Geochelone sulcata 1
American Alligator Alligator missipiensis 2
American Toad Bufo americanus americanus 2
Ball Python Python regius 1
Bearded Dragon Pogona vitticeps 1
Blue Tongue Skink Teliqua scincoides 2
Boa Constrictor Boa constrictor constrictor 2
Bull Frog Rana catesbeiana 2
Burmese Python Python molurus bivittatus 3
California King Snake Lampropeltis getula californiae 2
Central Asian Tortoise Testudo horsefieldi 1
Cope’s Gray Treefrog Hyla chrysoscelis 3
Crested Gecko Rhacodactylus ciliatus 1
Corn Snake Pantherophis guttatus 2
Earthworm Eisenia fetida 25+
Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene carolina carolina 1
Eastern Rat Snake Pantherophis obsoletus 1
Eastern Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpintena serpentina 1
Garden Slug Limax maximus 5
Green Iguana Iguana iguana 2
Haitian Brown Tarantula Phormictophis cancerides 1
Haitian Cockroach Blaberus sp. 25 +
Honduran Milk Snake Lampropeltis triangulum hon 2
House Cricket Acheta domestica 1000
Kenyan Sand Boa Eryx colubrinus loveridgei 1
Leopard Gecko Eublepharis macularius 1
Leopard Tortoise Geochelone pardalis 1
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches Gromphadorina portentosa 25+
Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake Leioheterodon madagascarensi 1
Mealworm Tenebrio molitar 1000
Mexican Red Leg Tarantula Aphonopelum bicoloratum 1
Nelson’s Milksnake Lampropeltis triangulum nelso 1
Nile Monitor Lizard Varanus niloticus 1
Pacific Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer catenifer 1
Prehensile-tailed Skink Corucia zebrata 1
Spiny Softshell Turtle Apalone spinifera 1
Spotted Salamander Ambystoma maculatum 1
Spotted Turtle Clemmys guttata 1
Sudan Plated Lizard Gerrhosaurus major 1
Tegu Lizard Tupinambis teguixin 1
Tokay Gecko Gekko gecko 1
Uromastyx Lizard Uromastyx acanthurus 1
Water Monitor Lizard Varanus salvator 1
White Line Gecko Gecko vittatus 1
Amazon River Turtle Podocnemis unifilis 1

Reptiles Alive Question/Answer Time…

We receive questions about reptiles every day from people at our shows, on the phone, or from email.  Here is a question we recently received:

Hello,
You recently came to my school and preformed for us. I was amazed with the reptiles you brought!
My mom said I can choose a new pet and I wanted a snake! But when I told my mom I wanted a snake she said “it can’t bite that often! And try to find a snake that won’t eat us!” So I have been looking online but I am having a hard time finding one that fits that profile! Can you help me? Or are there any places around Lorton that sell snakes that are well taken for? Thank you!

Hi-

We do not generally recommend snakes as pets. They are more difficult to care for properly than most people imagine and often become sick, unwanted or worse.

However, if you are committed to caring for your pet properly, I highly suggest adopting a snake instead of purchasing one from the pet store. Since snakes don’t make good pets, there are many, many snakes at animal rescue groups and shelters.

All snakes will bite – so if you get a pet snake, expect that it will bite you at least sometimes.

A few snakes that are typically available in rescue groups that do not get more than 6 feet long:
Ball python
Corn snake
King snake

Please do a lot of research on each of these species BEFORE making you decision. Make an appointment with a veterinarian who treats reptiles.  In the northern Virginia area we recommend Stahls Exotic Animal Veterinary Clinic.

Make the appointment for the week of your adoption so that your animal can get a check up and you can be sure that you have all the right equipment and information to properly care for your pet.

Here are few possible places where you can adopt a snake:

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Animal Shelter

Virginia Reptile Rescue

There are many other animal rescue groups that adopt reptiles to the public.  You can do a search for “reptile rescue” and find many of them.

Good luck!