As wildfires blaze through the state of California, thousands of people have been forced to evacuate to safety, but the flames aren’t only threatening people. Thousands of animals are in danger as well, especially those living in zoos and wildlife preserves.

At the Safari West Park and animal preserve in Santa Rosa, California, all employees were told to evacuate immediately as fires sped toward them.

Every single person left — except the 77-year-old owner and founder of the park, Peter Lang.

Peter refused to leave the animals alone and in danger. As the wildfire closed in on all sides, Peter worked tirelessly — single-handedly — to keep the animals safe.

With no other options, he used regular garden hoses to keep the threatening flames back.

He believed he was responsible for “a thousand souls,” and thanks to his hard work and dedication, every animal was preserved and remains safe today.

Sadly, Peter and his wife lost their home and many vehicles in the fire, but they know they are not alone, with dozens of other families facing the same challenges.

Check out the video below to meet Peter and learn how he and the animals survived the terrifying fires…

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