Tortoise Wanders Into Store Room, Is Found 30 Years Later--Alive
Mauela, a mischievous red-footed tortoise decided to go on a little journey. Whilst he made the decision to indulge in a little wanderlust, his owners, the Almeida family of Rio de Janeiro were busy with home renovations. So when Manuela got lost in a bag in a store room, they thought he had made a successful escape through a door left open by a worker. This was in 1982.
Apparently, Manuela got mixed up in a pile of stuff belonging to Leonel Almeida, the father of the family, which no one ever really went through (except Manuela), and so the family never really had an occasion to discover the pet they thought they lost forever. After Leonel passed away, the rest of the family decided to finally go through his things to clean it out.
When Leandro Almeida carried a bag of trash out, a neighbor asked him if he was really planning on throwing the turtle out as well. Leandro wasn't sure he heard right. ""I looked and saw her. At that moment I turned white, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing." he told The Telegraph. But low and behold, there was Manuela, crawling around in an old record box.
Red footed tortoises typically feed on a myriad of fruit and vegetables as well as carrion. A credit to their biology, these guys can survive long periods of time without food, according to Rio de Janeiro vet, Jeferson Pires. "They are particularly resilient and can survive for two to three years without food," he said.
The Almeida family believes that Manuela had the occasional meal of termites to have kept him alive this long.