High School Student Risks Life Saving Tortoises From Blaze In South Africa

Corne Uys has been praised for his bravery and compassion after taking a major risk in rescuing the animals during the deadly fire. He managed to save 33 tortoises
Fire in South Africa
The fire in Hermanus (Photo: Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary South Africa)

A high school student has been praised for his bravery after saving 33 tortoises from a fire in South Africa.

According to Corne Uys, he was evacuated along with fellow pupils, following a major blaze in the area of Hermanus. After leaving the school building, Uys teamed up with his dad to rescue tortoises and other wildlife from the fire.

Rescuing animals

"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," he said.

"Power has been off for the past two 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 mountain is still burning in the valley. Rip to all the animals who lost their lives. Huge thank you to our amazing fire fighters who protected the houses from burning to the ground."


Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary South Africa posted about the daring rescue on its Facebook page, commending Uys for his bravery.

"[Corey Uys] says he wishes he could have done more," said the post. "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."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Reuse this content
PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

(c) 2019 Plant Based News LTD. All Rights Reserved. Content must not be copied without permission.

Join the conversation

Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.

It's World Vegan Day