Its hard to believe, but Reptiles Alive has been around for over 15 years. Even before then, Caroline Seitz was presenting shows as “The Reptile Lady.” That was well before there was an “Animal Planet” and before there was a huge industry selling reptile products.
In the early 90′s, Caroline was on the cutting edge of reptile husbandry (the care of captive reptiles) when she hired a cabinet maker to build her some “snake racks.” Before then, most people kept small or medium size snakes in glass fish aquariums. Fish aquariums are perfect for fish, but not so good for snakes. Snakes can easily escape by popping of the top, snakes can injure themselves rubbing on the screen lid, and the aquariums are very heavy and hard to keep clean.
Snake racks, on the other hand, are designed with snakes in mind. Plastic tubs with holes drilled into the side slide in and out of slots in the rack. The plastic “drawers” fit perfectly into the slot so there is no way the snake can escape. The racks are super easy to clean and heat and most snakes and snake keepers love them. (Snakes spend most of their time curled up under a log or down in a nice dark burrow where predators cannot get to them.) Snake racks provide a perfect hideout for our small ground dwelling serpents, where they snooze or take a dip in their big water bowls after working a long day of shows. AHHHH.
The snake rack at Reptiles Alive, however, was now almost 20 years old – and it was driving the RA team crazy! Back in the 90′s, there were no companies building snake racks – most people had never heard of such a thing. So the cabinet maker Caroline hired used melamine (particle board sandwiched between sheets of plastic.) It was a great idea – and really the only material available at the time. But after 20 years of hard use, the melamine started cracking and the particle board inside swelled. This caused A LOT of frustration when opening and closing the drawers.
We decided it was about time for a brand new snake rack. So it was OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW! We ordered a new rack from Animal Plastics and eagerly awaited its arrival.
Ooooh – we were so excited to open these boxes. Jen started putting the rack together, while Caroline continued to clean and feed all the RA animals.
Later that same day Jen had to present two Ecosystems Alive assembly shows at an elementary school. She packed up the animals and left. Luckily, the rack was pretty easy to put together and Rachel came in that afternoon to help out.
Between Caroline, Jennifer and Rachel, all the animals were taken care of, phone calls and emails were answered, school assemblies were performed, an old snake rack was destroyed, and a new snake rack was put together. WHEW! What a day!! It was TOTALLY worth it.
To see a video of our new snake rack, visit the Reptiles Alive Facebook Page.