Creature Feature: Lizard Liz

Elizabeth Thompson

2011-12-31 23.00.00-19

Animal Keeper & Wildlife Educator

Reptiles Alive Name: Lizard Liz

Hisstory: Lizard Liz grew up moving all over the country with a military family. Everywhere she lived, her favorite pastime was exploring nature and learning about animals. She went to college at the University of New Hampshire to study Wildlife Conservation. During her college career she spent her summers working as a camp counselor or naturalist at several different locations in Michigan, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. She knew that she wanted to be an educator and to work with animals so when Reptiles Alive offered her an educator and keeper position, she jumped at the chance to start her career!

RA Diet: Lizard Liz will typically eat very lightly, often just an apple or some carrots.

Natural Diet: Anything that isn’t spicy. She especially loves sea food and red meat.

Range: Lizard Liz can be found almost anywhere in the United States, occasionally venturing as far north as Alaska.

Habitat: The hotter, the better. Lizard Liz loves warm weather and the occasional thunderstorm and can be found anywhere from low lying beaches to the tops of mountains.

Size: Lizard Liz has reached her maximum size of 5’5′.

Lifespan: If Lizard Liz is well cared for, she can live up to 90 years or more.

Reproduction: Lizard Liz’s “baby” is a blue tongue skink named Spice, who is her pride and joy and VERY spoiled.

Conservation: From a young age, Lizard Liz has understood that there are many wildlife species that are in need of help. She has devoted her life to educating people about these species, especially the ones that don’t get enough recognition. She loves working with kids in environments where they can experience what they are learning about in a way that classrooms can’t always provide.

Cool Facts: Lizard Liz loves talking about all different kinds of animals and spent a summer working at the Philadelphia Zoo teaching kids about the large mammals including rhinos, cheetahs, and giraffes.


Helping out Hibernating Turtles

Would you like to give box turtles a helping hand this winter?  As the weather gets colder, box turtles begin searching for their hibernation hide-outs.  Watch this video to learn how you can create habitat for turtles and other wildlife to use for hibernation this winter.

How You Can Help Turtles Hibernate


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