Local high school student hailed a hero after risking his life to save other during the Betties Bay fires

A local high school student is being hailed a hero, after risking his life to save the trapped tortoises during the recent fires.


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Recently, fires have been tragically raging in South Africa, leaving devastation and destruction in the path.

Many residents have been evacuated but a young hero decided to stay in the line of fire in order to rescue tortoises that were trapped by the flames. Corne Uys was evacuated from school but instead of abandoning the little animals, the brave young man decided to save as many as he could.

“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.”

Local high school student hailed a hero after risking his life to save other during the Betties Bay fires

For the next 3 hours Corne was in and out of the fire, rescuing tortoises and other wildlife. Out of the hundreds who burnt, he managed to save a total of 33 tortoises while his dad drove up and down through 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 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.”

Local high school student hailed a hero after risking his life to save other during the Betties Bay fires

The Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary – a secure and safe sanctuary for a variety of exotic animals in the Western Cape – heard about Corne’s brave act of kindness and have offered to give him a free family year ticket to visit the park whenever they like!

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 at 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!)

Sources: The Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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