Manuela, a red-footed tortoise, disappeared 30 years ago in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was recently found alive in a small storage room. The Almeida family searched for her extensively after she vanished in 1982, but they assumed that she must have left when some builders left the front door open. She was never found.
After the family patriarch passed away recently, the children began to clean out a locked storage room. Among the broken electrical items and other objects that had been collected over the years by their late father, they found Manuela alive in a box next to an old record player.
“I left the box on the pavement for the garbage men to collect, and a neighbor said, ‘you’re not throwing away the turtle as well, are you?’” the younger Almeida said to Brazil’s Globo website. “I looked and saw her. At that moment, I turned white. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
Turtles, similar to snakes, can withstand extended periods of time without food. In their natural habitat, turtles can enter a state of suspended animation by lowering their body temperature and other physiological functions.
However, surviving for 30 years is unheard of!
Even the Rio-based veterinarian, Jeferson Peres, stated to Globo that red-footed tortoises in the wild can survive without food for 2-3 years. However, 30 years is a whole new level. Dr. Peres proposed that Manuela perhaps survived by consuming termites or other small insects and licking condensation.
Red-footed tortoises can live up to 50 years, which means Manuela still has several good years ahead of her.
We hope that the Almeida family will take better care of her this time around!
Rewriter Source: https://blog.theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com/tortoise-30-years-storage-room/