Rodrigo S. Garcés Torres
Audubon Nature Institute
Year zoo career began:
Rodrigo began his zoo career in 2012 and is currently an Associate Veterinarian at the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center (FMASSC). Although the main facility is FMASSC, Rodrigo has the opportunity to cover the zoo and aquarium when needed. His responsibilities mainly involve preventative medicine and healthcare of the individuals in their collection. He also enjoys teaching a lot and always tries to give their students, interns, and residents hands on experiences during procedures. In the long-term, Rodrigo would like to be board certified in the American College of Zoological Medicine to then go on and help Latin American and foreign students and veterinarians have more access to opportunities like he has been fortunate to have in his life.
Before starting his career at FMASSC, Rodrigo has had the opportunity to work at a wide variety of places like the USDA Wildlife Services in Mexico, Chapultepec Zoo Vet Department (unpaid), Wildlife Safari as a Veterinary Externship to then an Associate Veterinarian and other locations. In 2013, Rodrigo graduated veterinary school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and obtained a Specialty degree in Medicine and Surgery of Wildlife Exotic Pets in 2019 while working at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. While apart of UNAM’S program, he had to do a 6 month social services, which he did at Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City, where he fell in love with Zoological Medicine.
Rodrigo’s favorite part of his job is the challenge of attending a wide variety of species with very particular and different anatomy, physiology, response to treatment and more. There is also more paperwork than you’d expect and no procedure is ever the same, even if it’s the same patient and protocol. He would like to let those who are looking into this field know to not let the competitiveness and obstacles discourage you! Also, never be afraid to reach out, the zoo vet community is incredibly welcoming to anyone who wants to learn.