Collier County man rescues rhino from Golden Gate Estates fire, badly burned

Posted at 10:55 PM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 22:55:09-04

The owner of an animal sanctuary walking through a wall of fire wearing just shorts and a t-shirt to save a rhino trapped inside of the Golden Gate Estates fire. 

20 percent of Donovan Smith's body was burned in the fire -- from his arms and legs to his face. Smith is the owner at NGLA Animal Sanctuary.

He and his staff rushed to get their 45 animals to safety but his rhino named Walter was trapped. So Smith grabbed some firefighters for help, jumped onto a truck, and went towards the flames.

"I calmed him down, I called 'Walter,' he came to me and I kept him away from the burning fire," Smith said. 

Thankfully Walter was not hurt in the fire but Smith had burns so severe he was flown to Tampa General Hospital. 

When asked if Smith would do it again, he says "absolutely." 

Smith has a GoFundMe campaign set up. To donate follow this link -- .