A High School learner in South Africa is being hailed a hero for braving the smoke and flames that ripped through Hermanus… to save 33 tortoises. Instead of fleeing for his life, Corne Uys not only thought of them… but says he wishes he could have done more.
In a message that’s gone viral, Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary said:
“Young man… you have the brightest of futures ahead of you, because you carry what no-one could ever take away from you…character, compassion and the guts to act.
“Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. The Animal Sanctuary @ Butterfly World. (If you read this and know Corne, please tell him he and his dad can come and collect a family year ticket from us…we would LOVE to meet them!)”
Corne was alerted to their message, and here is his response:
“Finally have wifi to be able to post this. What a crazy two days it has been. Pretty much the whole area of Hermanus was a burning furnace. People being evacuated and houses nearly burning down.
“We were evacuated from school because the fire came too close. As soon as I came out myself and my dad Hugo Uys jumped into action. For the next 3 hours, I was in and out of the fire, rescuing tortoises and other wildlife.
“Out of the hundreds who burnt, I managed to save a total of 33 tortoises while my dad drove me up and down thru the chaos of people and blazing fires.
“Power has been off for the past 2 days from the fire. The fire was devastating throughout the whole mountain range and I wish I could’ve done more.
“Luckily we managed to save a handful and we released them this morning in the nature reserve.
“Prayers have been answered when it started raining yesterday evening. Most of the fire was put out but some of the mountains are still burning in the valley. Rip to all the animals who lost their lives❤. Huge thank you to our amazing firefighters who protected the houses from burning to the ground.”
Yesterday Corne reported back: “Surprisingly, every single tortoise I rescued was okay and made a full recovery. They were all released together the next day into our beloved Fernkloof Nature Reserve. It was an experience that will stay with me for a long time. I’m not a hero. Im just a wildlife conservationist.”
Hugo’s dad said in a message to SAPeople followers: “Thank you so much for the wonderful messages everybody.”
A Young Hero: In stead of fleeing for his life, Corne Uys, a young man still in high school, braved the smoke and…