While fires were raging around Knysna, a fireman took the time to save a tortoise that found itself trapped among the smouldering remains of the forests surrounding the town.
The Southern Cape Fire Protection Association (SCFPA) received a video of an unknown fireman who brought an unconscious tortoise into town and revived it by pouring water on its head until it started moving and drinking again.
“This was one of the truly special moments we have seen among all the chaos and destruction that have marked the last couple of days,” SCFPA’s Len du Plessis said.
This lucky little tortoise was unfortunately one of the few that survived the inferno.
Tortoises are usually the unlucky victims of forest fires as they are too slow to escape.
SANParks regional spokeswoman Nandi Mgwadlamba said most animals’ natural instinct allowed them to escape fires, and they had received very few reports of wild animals killed or injured in the fires that raged around Knysna and Plettenberg Bay over the past week.
“Animal Welfare and vets around the area have treated a number of animals, but mostly household pets,” she said.
“Unfortunately, tortoises are always the ones left behind when fires like these occur, and very little can be done about it.”