Family finds tortoise 30 years later, and it's still alive. Three decades ago, a tortoise named Manuela disappeared from her Rio de Janeiro home right around the same time builders were working on the family home. According to a Jan. 25, 2013 report by Daily Mail, her owners thought the slow-moving animal had escaped when workers left the door open. They were wrong.
After all these years, family members found their lost pet in a store room where a family member had stored broken electrical appliances. When Leonel, the Almeida family patriarch died, family members began to clean out that room. There, in a dusty box containing a record player, was Manuela. She was still alive when Leonel's son Leandro placed the box on the curb for the garbage collector. It was then that a neighbor spotted the animal and brought her to a shocked Leandro's attention. It was the first time anyone had seen the creature since 1982.
A local veterinarian speculated that the tortoise may have survived by eating termites she found in the room's wooden floors and noted that the creatures can go for long periods of time without food. They may also subsist on feces, dead animals, fruit and leaves in the wild. Red-footed tortoises are also known in Brazil as carumbe or karumbe, which mean "slow-moving."
The story of the family that finds a tortoise 30 years later is amazing, but it isn't the first time a lost tortoise was reunited with his owners. To learn about another happy reunion between a lost tortoise and his grateful owners, watch the video at the top of the page.