banner
North Carolina

Field hockey Final Four a little smaller for rhino-raising Travers

Posted November 13, 2012
Updated November 14, 2012

— As the University of North Carolina's field hockey team gets ready for the NCAA Final Four, sophomore Samantha Travers is less awed than her teammates by the spotlight for a very unique reason.

Travers grew up on her family's game preserve in Zimbabwe. Their work in breeding black rhinos became the subject of a reality TV series where she lived for months with a camera crew following her family's every move.

“Mom and I couldn’t have a normal conversation because I couldn’t discuss my friend or boyfriend issues knowing that 12 other people are listening,” Travers said.

UNC's Travers going from raising rhinos to final four UNC's Travers going from raising rhinos to Final Four

The show, which ran on Animal Planet, documented the birth of a baby black rhino. But the story line took an unexpected turn even before it got started.

“They came six-and-a-half weeks after the baby was born and sadly, we just had a huge poaching incident where the mother of the baby had been killed,” Travers said. “That’s why we had to take the baby into the house because it needs a full time mother; obviously my mother did that. Then, at the same time, we got a pet warthog and a pet hyena, so it was a bit of a crazy household.”

That's where the show's name came in to play – "There's a baby rhino in my house." It has run worldwide, and Samantha's mom really did take a baby rhino into her house to raise.

“They are big, gentle giants,” Travers said. “If you respect them, they will respect you. My parents have taught us to respect everything.”

Travers, a starter on the back line for Carolina's No. 1 ranked field hockey team, has a background different from that of the other Tar Heels, and as you might expect, she had a bit of culture shock when she got to Carolina.

“When she first got here, it was difficult for her top even fathom the grocery store,” said head coach Karen Shelton.

“For a long time we had to go to another country just to get our groceries,” Travers explained.

Travers has already had a worldwide journey and the next stop is the field hockey Final Four.

1 Comment

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Tarheel born Nov 14, 8:47 a.m.

    What a great story about this young lady's life. Let's add one more NCAA National Championship ladies!

    GO HEELS!!

  • PGA Golf: RBC Canadian Open

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA Golf: RBC Canadian Open

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Golf Championship: Bridgestone Invitational

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Golf Championship: Bridgestone Invitational

    Sunday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs Toledo Mud Hens

    Tonight at 7:05 on 620am

  • MLB: LA Dodgers at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASCAR: Brickyard 400

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: LA Dodgers at San Francisco

    Sunday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
TOL
 
2nd
CHC 0
STL 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ARI
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
TOR
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
WAS
7:35pm Tonight
ATL
SDP
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
OAK
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
CWS
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
MIA
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
NYM
8:40pm Tonight
COL
PIT
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
DET
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
BAL
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
TOL