Carlos A De La Torre
Position Title:Volunteer Coordinator
Field Site Name:Grand Teton NP
School:Texas A&M University
Major:Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Dream Job:Currently exploring, but leaning towards education...maybe a Park Interpreter.
Current Favorite Song:Donald Trump by Mac Miller
If I was a shape-shifter, I’d turn into:Velociraptor. I have loved dinosaurs throughout high school. I was planning to be a paleontologist, but then thought alive animals would be more exciting to study.
My Motto:Keep Moving Forward
Most memorable outdoor moment:
Close encounter with a family of rhinoceros in South Africa. It was during the winter semester of 2010-2011 during my study abroad. I was in the mammal team making some observations at a popular location at Dronfield Nature Reserve. I was with two girls and with the 2nd half of the team like 200 meters away. We spot some rhinos far away and we get excited. they were coming towards our direction. As they start to turn to the other group, I try to alert the others by whistling...bad idea! They have a keen sense of hearing because of their low sense of sight, which I was not fully aware by that time. Then they happen to head towards us, it got a bit scarier by then. We were located between four skinny trees, which were no help to us. I helped a girl up on a tree, the other one, I couldn't...so she hid behind the last tree. As they approached us, I started taking pictures and a video (my kind of instinct on these kind of situations, go figure!). I was smiling AND shaking. I was putting the chairs in front of me (as in they were going to help me) but I thought they would see it as an obstacle if they got closer. Thing is, they had a little curious George which was smelling us as the mom kept it from approaching us. A male rhino did small bluff charges. Maybe around 5-10 minutes later, our teacher came with the van and picked us up. It was a huge relief. After the ride to the cabin, I just lay in bed thinking of what could have happened. The rhinos were actually going to drink some water, which was behind our location. But at that time we had not thought of that. True Story. It was exciting and scary, but most of all, I had a taste of the wild. Good stuff!