Reptile Day Once Again a Success at NDA


Cassi Garrison, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Notre Dame Academy’s ninth annual Reptile Day recently took place, and it was definitely a success.

Reptile Day is a special event that allows students to gain more knowledge about reptiles and amphibians.

In addition to hearing a presentation about the correct way to care for different animals and the consequences of neglecting pets, students also have the opportunity to interact with animals that are brought into class.

“Each year the organization who volunteers to come in for Reptile Day brings in a different array of animals,” shared science teacher Grace Corriveau. “Some we see year after year, but this year we were introduced to a new red boa as well as a leopard gecko.”

The organization is called Archie’s Angels, and it’s both a resource for education as well as a rescue and rehabilitation program. 

“NDA’s Reptile Day is one of my favorite events of the year,” shared Archie’s Angels Founder and President Raija Hansen, who is also an NDA alum.

Hansen said that the event consisted of many topics–they shared the organization’s backstory and why veterinary care for reptiles is so important, as well as discussed how different animals can camouflage themselves to their environment. 

“Students were also able to have hands-on interaction with the animals and educational models we brought along,” she added. 

Hansen’s own love for reptiles started when she was a kid, when she would spend her days catching toads and garter snakes outside. She adopted her first reptile–a leopard Gecko named Oz– about 13 years ago, and has been hooked ever since.

“Reptiles have such a unique biology with so many facts that are still being discovered,” said Hansen. “It is a constantly changing world of discovery that always makes for a good topic of discussion!”

She has been in the veterinary field for three years now, with a special focus in exotic reptiles. 

“I have always had a passion for reptiles, my focus primarily in exotics,” Hansen shared. “I currently work at a hospital that tends to exotic animals, so I am able to handle and work with reptiles on a regular basis.”

All of the animals at Archie’s Angels are serviced by their veterinarian, Dr. Wolfe, who ensures each animal is at peak health prior to adoption.