Tortoise Found After Being Thought Lost For 30 Years

  • Turtle power! Well, tortoise power, anyway…

Photo by Romina veliz on Unsplash


Normally if you see a story with a storage room/building in it the story turns out to be rather worrisome. This one, however, had a happy ending…

Talk About A Reunion!

A family in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil lost its beloved pet turtle thirty years ago in 1982. Despite searching frantically, they never found her. Until 2013, when they discovered her in the storage room. The Almeida family – her owners- were ecstatic. They assumed that she ran away when builders working on the house left the door open.

So How’d They Found Her?

It wasn’t until their father, Leonel, died in early 2013, that the Almeida children began clearing out the second-floor room which he had filled with broken electrical items ad always kept locked. Leandro, Leonel’s son, said he was astonished to find Manuela (the turtle) alive inside a box containing an old record player.

Manuela’s Story

“I put the box on the pavement for the rubbish men to collect, and the neighbor said: ‘you’re not throwing out that turtle as well are you?’ I looked and saw her. At that moment, I turned white, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Leandro, according to Daily Mail.

Lenita – A Daughter Of Leonel

Lenita had been given the tortoise as a child. “Everything my father thought he could fix, he picked up and brought home. If he found an old television he thought he might be able to use a part of it to fix another one in the future, so he just kept accumulating things. We never dared go inside that room. We’re all thrilled to have Manuela back. But no-one can understand how she managed to survive for 30 years in there, it’s just unbelievable.”

How Did She Survive?

A Rio De Janerio vet – Jeferson Pires -explained to the family that the red-footed species of tortoise ( like Manuela was) can go for long periods of time without eating. “They are particularly resilient and can survive for two to three years without food. In the wild, they eat fruits, leaves, dead animals, and even feces.” He said that Manuela most likely survived from eating termites from the wooden floors.

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