Creature Feature: Cobra Caroline

Caroline Seitz

Director/Founder of Reptiles Alive LLC


Reptiles Alive Name: Cobra Caroline (aka The Reptile Lady)

Hisstory: Cobra Caroline performed her first live reptile show in public when she was 9 years old.  She continued presenting wildlife education programs through high school and college and then worked a few years at various zoos and nature centers.  In 1996, she founded “The Reptile Lady” which would soon become “Reptiles Alive LLC.”

RA Diet: Favorite lunch time items for Cobra Caroline include banh mi sandwiches, BLT’s with homegrown tomatoes, and anything her mom cooks for  her.

Natural Diet: Cobra Caroline is an opportunistic omnivore.  She will eat both plants and animals, including seafood.  Her diet is variable depending on the seasons.  Winter  foods may include slow cooked soups and stews,  where as summer fare typically includes vegetables grown in her garden and fish and crabs from the Chesapeake Bay.

Range: Although Cobra Caroline was born in Arlington and has lived her whole life in northern Virginia, she spends much of her time traveling, especially to Reno, NV where her father lives.  She also has had special opportunities to spend time on the Big Island of Hawaii where her brother lives and works as a sea turtle biologist.

Habitat: You could find Cobra Caroline in many different habitats.  If you are on the road, look for driving the reptile van to a show.  You might see her performing a show at a school, library, festival, or other venue.  She manages the office, so she spends a lot of time on the phone and on the computer.  And she supervises the animal collection, so she spends time monitoring the health and care of the animals here.  WHEW – she is everywhere!

Size: Don’t be fooled by Cobra Caroline’s size.  At 5 feet tall, she is more than capable of handling a giant python, capturing a crocodile, or carrying a heavy tortoise.

Lifespan: Cobra Caroline could live to 80 years or more.

Reproduction: Cobra Caroline has successfully raised many plants and vegetables into a beautiful home garden.

Conservation: Since she was 4 years old, Cobra Caroline has dedicated her life to teaching other people how important snakes and other animals are to our environment. She spent her childhood learning about nature by reading books, writing in her nature journal, and spending copious amounts of time in the swamp near her house searching for snakes, frogs, insects and other creatures.  She started volunteering at nature centers and zoos as a teenager and became a Virginia Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator when she was 18.  Wildlife conservation IS Caroline’s life.

Cool Facts: After graduating from George Mason University with a B.A. in Speech Communication, Cobra Caroline spent some years working a variety of fun jobs.  She worked as a park naturalist at Hidden Pond Nature Center;  a park ranger Mason Neck State Park where she lead canoe trips into bald eagle habitats and a wildlife educator at a zoo where she performed shows with monkeys, kinkajous, exotic birds, and other animals.  One of her strangest jobs was working for an animal removal company as a “Snake Removal Technician.”  This involved spending hours crawling through dirty and sometimes scary crawlspaces and attics searching for snakes and inspecting the facility to figure out how to stop them from getting in.

Cobra Caroline feels lucky every day – as the director of Reptiles Alive, she gets to “work” at job she loves.  She can’t imagine doing anything else.

Fall Changes at Reptiles Alive

Fall is always an exciting time at Reptiles Alive.

We all feel a sense of relief and accomplishment that we have made it through another super busy summer.  We presented approximately 500 shows in June, July & August at libraries, festivals, and tons of summer camps.  Whew!  It is always nice to get the break in September to re-group and get ready for the school year.

The emails and phone calls from PTA representatives and teachers begin flooding into our office as the new school year gets started.  Assemblies, classroom visits, and family fun nights are all being scheduled now, so our office staff works hard to keep up with all the bookings.  If you are interested in booking a program for your school give us a call at 703 560-0257 or send us an email at [email protected]  You can find out all about our programs for schools on our Schools Page.

Although we may not be quite as busy doing weekday shows in September as in other months, our weekends are always booked solid for us with all the fall festivals and birthday party shows and we do a lot of scout programs in the evening. You can check out which festivals we will be at on our Public Events Calendar.

More fall changes at Reptiles Alive include a new school assembly show called “Wetlands Alive!”, a new Honduran milk snake that has not yet been named, and a new assistant Animal Keeper we just hired – Amaya Perez.  Look for more information about the new show, animal, and keeper in future blog posts.

Happy Fall Everybody!!


An Island tale…

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,

A tale of a Reptiles Alive trip

That started from our headquarters

Aboard our reptile van – ship.


Sycamore Island in the Potomac River

The mate was a mighty nature photography man,

The skipper brave with snakes.

2 passengers + 8 live animals set sail that day

To perform a 1 hour reptile show, a 1 hour show.


Our Animals Aboard Ferry Boat to Sycamore Island

The weather started getting rough,

The pollen was really bad and wind knocked trees on the ground,

If not for the courage of the fearless RA crew

The show would not go on, the show would not go on.


Caroline on Sycamore Island

The ship set ground on the shore of this charted Potomac River isle

With Caroline

Jon Kerr too

The Ferry boatman, his name is Joe

The animal show stars

The black rat snake and the rest

Here on Sycamore Isle.


Ferry Boat Captain Joe

So this is the tale of the show we performed

It was on Saturday May 8

We had the best of times,

Even though loading was a truly uphill climb.


One LONG, TOUGH Load In for a Show

The first mate and the Skipper too

Did their very best,

To perform a fantastic live animal show

In the Potomac River island nest.


There were phones and lights, but no motor cars,

Lots of luxuries,

Not really like Robinson Crusoe,

Not exactly as primitive as can be.


Caroline with Pink the Corn Snake

So join us here each week my freinds,

You’re sure to get a smile,

From all the people and animals,

Here at Reptiles Alive!

Back to School Time…

September is a busy month in the office at Reptiles Alive.  After a super busy summer filled with performing shows at summer camps, fairs, libraries and more, we are ready for the change that fall brings.  Summer is very intense – there are many days where all of us start work at 7 am and don’t finish until 10 pm.

In September, the number of shows we do becomes much more reasonable.  Fall festivals and birthday parties still fill our weekends, and scout meetings eat up our nights, but the weekday school programs are just getting started, so we have time during the day to catch up on all the office work we couldn’t get to during the summer.


As soon as the school year starts, our phone starts ringing and our email inbox fills with requests for school assemblies, classroom visits, and after school classes.  Since we work as animal keepers in addition to working in the office, there are many times that the phone starts ringing right when we are opening the door to a large python or getting ready to feed an alligator – YIKES.  There are even times when we answer the phone and take an animal with us, so while we are talking to you, we might have a snake in our other hand.

Most people only think about the shows they see us perform, but a lot of work goes on “behind the scenes” to get ready for your show.  And don’t worry – we will be sure that none of the animals eat the paperwork for your booking.