Today we have an example of heroism in the face of a large wildfire in Florida that burned over 4,800 acres of land in Collier County near Golden Gate Estates. The owner of NGLA Wild Life Preserve, an exotic animal sanctuary in Naples, FL, risked his life to save one of the animals. The local Fox affiliate had the story.

Wearing just a t-shirt and shorts, Donovan Smith walked through the fire to save a rhino that was trapped by the flames. He was able to calm the rhino as firefighters sprayed water on the enclosure. But in helping the rhino, the man suffered burns on 20 percent of his body. The rhino escaped unharmed thanks to the man’s heroism.

Before walking into the flames, he got the assistance of some firefighters to help him and the animal. He was flown to Tampa General Hospital for burn treatment. When asked if he would do it again, he said, “Absolutely.”

A True Hero

We have no problems calling this man a hero and we hope that he can raise the money he needs to cover his medical bills. If you’d like to help, there is a Go Fund Me page set up to help pay for Donovan’s medical treatment.

Recovering from burns is a long and painful process. Depending on the extent of the burns, skin grafts and infection prevention measures may be necessary. If you suffered a burn injury, read our Phases of Burn Care guide on what to expect during recovery.