The tortoises died in a controlled burn by the West Coast District Municipality Fire Service.
Darling and Swartland SPCA manager Louise van Zyl said it found out about the burn a few days before and tried to contact the relevant parties to organise a sweep of the area to check for animals.
“We were not able to get a hold of them and we were told that it would happen at 10am, but it happened earlier, so our teams were not able to do the sweep. By the time we got there the burn had already started.”
She said it was very sad for the team, especially imagining how scary and agonising the ordeal must have been for the animals.