Meet the Team: Natalie M. Rico, Esq., Secretary
What do you do, when you aren’t reclaiming wildlife?
In addition to my work with Reclaimed Earth, I am a practicing attorney. I was drawn to the law largely because of my grandfather. He was an attorney in Cuba before having to leave the communist regime and live in exile. He instilled in me a sense of justice and a profound respect for the rule of law. When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family (especially my niece and nephew), traveling to new places, and learning new things.
How long have you been interested in helping animals?
I suppose it’s been since I was a little kid. What kid doesn’t love animals? I was quite passionate about the environment from a young age – to the point where my brother and I asked the manager at Fuddruckers to stop using Styrofoam cups in the restaurant. That passion has been rekindled in me through my work with Reclaimed Earth. Our work has reminded me that a group of passionate, committed people can effect positive change in our world.
What’s your favorite animal and why?
Do I have to pick just one?! Growing up in South Florida, I love marine life. While they are not native to South Florida, my favorite animal would have to be the Killer Whale. They are so beautiful, powerful, and elegant. I love that they are highly social creatures who travel in pods with their families. They also use complex vocalizations, almost like singing, to communicate with one another.
What’s one animal fact you’ve learned on your most recent animal encounter?
Many species of shark go into a state called tonic immobility when turned upside down. It’s a form a temporary paralysis.
What’s your spirit animal?
A gazelle. They are graceful, quick, and know how to evade predators!
What’s an interesting fact about you that not many people know?
I’ve always has a passion for musicals and singing. I even played Dorothy in my high school production of The Wizard of Oz. All evidence has been destroyed, so don’t ask!
What’s your guilty pleasure (PG, of course)?
It’s horribly cliché, I know, but I love binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Don’t judge!!
Favorite animal movie?
I’d probably have to say Free Willy. Are you surprised? I told you that I love Killer Whales! A close second-place would probably be Homeward Bound.
Next item you plan to cross off your bucket list.
Going to Africa!! I wasn’t able to go on Reclaimed Earth’s volunteer trip this year, but wild horses couldn’t keep me from going next year.
Next big trip.
Croatia in the summer of 2020.