Reptiles Alive LLC 2014 Annual Wildlife Exhibitor Report

What a TOADALLY awesome year this has been at Reptiles Alive LLC!  A year full of great shows, great clients, and great RA team members!

caroline and boom boom kiss

From October 2013 through September 2014, we presented 790 education programs – exactly the same number as last year!  (How weird is that?)  Our audience reach was up from last year to approximately 61,400 people who enjoyed our shows.  We returned to present at many of the same schools, events, and libraries that we visit every year such as The Fairfax, Loudoun, and Montgomery County and DC Public Libraries,  Doodlehopper 4 Kids, National Harbor and so many more great places and events.  We also enjoyed meeting new folks at new events including the Fredericksburg Pet Expo, The Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington’s Eye Run, The Historic Henrico Theater, and at all the schools, scouts, and private parties that had us for the first time this year.  So much fun and herpetological education going on!

We would not be able to present so many great programs without our invaluable team of wildlife educators.  Rockin’ReptileRachel performed the most with 373 shows reaching approximately 29,200 people.  Coming in second was CobraCaroline with 180 shows reaching 19,200 people.  TuataraTony presented 137 shows reaching 6,050 people and SidewinderStephen presented 100 shows and reached 7,000 people.

Of course, there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes both in our office and our animal care.   SidewinderStephen has become an accomplished animal keeper here at RA.  He is an expert at managing our animal collection and has gotten to know each of our animals as individuals.  When asked if he has a favorite RA animal, he says “That’s a really hard question!  I guess if I have to pick it would be Splash (our water monitor lizard) or Hannah (our savanna monitor lizard.)  They seem to have such great personalities.”

day in the life 5

New animals we added to our permanent collection this year are:

2 Australian Green Treefrogs Litoria caerulea  – donated to us as unwanted pets

2 Eastern Rat Snakes Pantherophis alleghaniensis – one was an unwanted pet left at a vet clinic and one was found inside a school building!

1 Leopard Gecko Eublepharis macularius – donated to us as an unwanted pet

1 Argentine Horned Frog Ceratophrys ornata  – received as a captive bred froglet 🙂

Transferred or Deceased Animals:

1 Copes Gray Treefrog Hyla chrysocelis – died due to unknown causes

1 Eastern King Snake Lampropeltis getula getula – transferred to a nature center

1 Marbled Salamander Ambystoma opacum – died due to unknown causes

1 White Lined Gecko Geckko vittatus – transferred to a naturalist

1 Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtle Podocnemis unifilis – died due to a systemic bacterial infection that did not respond to medical treatment  (we miss you Podoc!)



Reptiles Alive! LLC 2014 Animal Inventory
African Spurred Tortoise 1 Geochelone sulcata
American Alligator 2 Alligator missipiensis
American Toad 2 Anaxyrus americanus
Argentine Horned Frog 1 Ceratophres ornata
Australian Green Treefrog 4 Litoria caerulea
Ball Python 1 Python regius
Bearded Dragon 2 Pogona vitticeps
Blue Tongue Skink 3 Teliqua scincoides
Boa Constrictor 4 Boa constrictor constrictor
Bull Frog 2 Rana catesbeiana
Burmese Python 1 Python molurus bivittatus
California King Snake 2 Lampropeltis getula californiae
Central Asian Tortoise 1 Testudo horsefieldi
Crested Gecko 1 Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Corn Snake 2 Pantherophis guttatus
Earthworm 25+ Eisenia fetida
Eastern Box Turtle 1 Terrapene carolina carolina
Eastern Rat Snake 3 Pantherophis obsoletus
Eastern Snapping Turtle 1 Chelydra serpintena serpentina
Garden Slug 5 Limax maximus
Green Iguana 2 Iguana iguana
Haitian Brown Tarantula 1 Phormictophis cancerides
Haitian Cockroach 25 + Blaberus sp.
Honduran Milk Snake 2 Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis
House Cricket 1000 Acheta domestica
Kenyan Sand Boa 1 Eryx colubrinus loveridgei
Leopard Gecko 2 Eublepharis macularius
Leopard Tortoise 1 Geochelone pardalis
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches 25+ Gromphadorina portentosa
Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake 1 Leioheterodon madagascarensis
Marbled Salamander 1 Ambystoma opacum
Mealworm 1000 Tenebrio molitar
Nelson’s Milksnake 1 Lampropeltis triangulum nelsonii
Northern Diamondback Terrapin 1 Malaclemys terrapin
Pacific Gopher Snake 1 Pituophis catenifer catenifer
Prehensile-tailed Skink 1 Corucia zebrata
Savannah Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus exanthematicus
Spiny Softshell Turtle 1 Apalone spinifera
Spotted Salamander 1 Ambystoma maculatum
Spotted Turtle 1 Clemmys guttata
Sudan Plated Lizard 1 Gerrhosaurus major
Tegu Lizard 2 Tupinambis teguixin
Uromastyx Lizard 1 Uromastyx acanthurus
Water Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus salvator
Western Hognose Snake 1 Heterodon nasicus


Five Tips on Hiring Live Animal School Assemblies

September is here and you have been put in charge of hiring this year’s school assembly performers and special classroom visitors.  You have so many great options: musical performances, dance companies, history actors and so much more.  But when you ask students which assemblies they remember most, love the best, and want to see every year you’ll hear “bring the animals!”

It is no secret that kids love animals.  Reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and all kinds of creatures have the ability to catch students’ attention more than any video screen ever will.  The trick is to hire the best quality, and most professional animal presenters.

rachel assembly 1

Here are 5 tips on getting the best animal show for your school’s assembly budget.

1.  Finding Your Animal Assembly

Does your school or school district have access to a list or catalog of approved school performers?  This is the FIRST place to look.  In Northern Virginia, Bluemont Artists in Education  offers a list of approved performers who have demonstrated their show’s educational value and professionalism.  Of course, if your school is located in the DC/MD/VA area, you call Reptiles Alive!  🙂

A second option is a Google search for animal shows in your area.  Try search terms such as “school assemblies in [your area]” or “live animal shows in [your area]”.

2.  Choosing Your Animal Assembly

Once you have a list of choices, now it’s time to do some research.  Is the company licensed by your state to present live animal shows in public?  Is the company fully insured with both liability and workers compensation?  Can the company provide you with references from previous schools?

Animal shows for schools need to be ultra safe and educational.  Keep in mind that the most professional and experienced animal presenters with the appropriate insurance may also be more expensive than less experienced or amateur presenters.  Don’t make the mistake of choosing a live animal show based on price alone.

3.  Before Booking Your Animal Assembly

You will need to gather the following  information from your school’s principal, PTA president, or whoever is ultimately in charge:

  • What is the maximum budget you are allowed to spend on the show?
  • How many students will be attending each show (keep in mind that smaller groups are better and keeping the grade levels close, ex K-2nd and then 3rd-5th is smart)?
  • How many shows will you need?
  • What times will you need the shows?
  • What dates are available and desired in the school’s calendar and performance space?
  • Will you have a parking space available for the performer to load/unload safely and efficiently?
  • Will you be able to pay a deposit?  What are your school’s standard payment terms for school assembly performers?
  • Does the school require the performer to submit a Certificate of Insurance and if so, what, if any, special language will need to be on the Certificate?

 4.  Booking Your Animal Assembly Show

Contact the animal show company as soon as possible as many performers book up early and quickly.  At Reptiles Alive LLC, we often book shows more than a year in advance!   Be sure to follow the company’s instructions on what you’ll need to do to confirm the booking,  including signing contracts, paying a deposit, and reading any preparation materials.

Many animal show companies provide teacher’s guides and other resource materials for their assemblies.  If these materials are available, be sure to pass them along to the teachers.

At school, remember to “officially” reserve the room the assembly will be in. Let the principal and/or custodian know of any set up needs the performer will have that day.  Let the office staff know the date/time of the assembly and add the date to the school’s calendar.

5.  The Day of Your Animal School Assembly

A day or two before your assembly, contact the animal show company to confirm the date and times of your show (most performers will contact you to confirm).  Find out what time they plan to arrive and double check with them what they will need from you for the performance (parking, tables, nearby electric outlet, etc…)

On the day of your show, remember to have a parking spot reserved and the assembly room ready.  Remind the office staff of the show so they know where to send the presenter when he/she arrives to set up.

Then enjoy your ssssuper happy animal assembly day!


Looking Back at a WILD Summer!

One WILDLY awesome summer was had here at Reptiles Alive!  We performed more shows than ever at more libraries, camps, festivals, and all kinds of special summer events.  Here is a quick  look back at the summer of 2014.

SidewinderStephen and a new Reptile Ranger team member!

SidewinderStephen and a new Reptile Ranger team member!

cv and boa at warl

CobraCaroline at the Washington Animal Rescue League’s summer animal camp

Our box turtle driving to a show....

Our box turtle driving to a show….


B.A. the gator letting us know how he feels about working in the morning.

B.A. the gator letting us know how he feels about working in the morning.

Two new American TOADIES are enjoying their home at RA.

Two new American TOADIES are enjoying their home at RA.

Keeper SidewinderStephen workin' real hard.

Keeper SidewinderStephen workin’ real hard.

Rockin'ReptileRachel and, well, hello there - you're not a reptile!

Rockin’ReptileRachel and, well, hello there – you’re not a reptile!

TuataraTony with his best pal Boanita.

TuataraTony with his best pal Boanita.

We are now ready for an even more WILDLY awesome fall!  Ssssee you all ssssoon!