Quirky News

  • 28 January 2013, 11:47

Tortoise survives 30 years in storeroom

A tortoise /Rex

A tortoise has been found alive in Brazil - after more than 30 years locked away in a storeroom.

Manuela vanished from her home in Rio de Janeiro in 1982 and was given up as lost forever despite a lengthy search.

Her owners assumed she had crawled away after builders working on the house left the front door open.

It was only after dad Leonel Almieda died earlier this month that his children began clearing out a second-floor room he had filled with broken electrical items and always kept locked.

Son Leandro was astonished to find Manuela shuffling around in a cardboard box containing an old record player.

He told Brazil's Globo G1 website: "I put the box on the pavement for the binmen to collect, and a neighbour said, 'You're not throwing the tortoise out as well are you?' I looked and saw Manuela.

"And at that moment I turned white. I just could not believe what I was seeing."

His sister Lenita, who had been given the tortoise as a childhood pet, said: "We are all thrilled to have Manuela back.

"But none of us can understand how she managed to survive for 30 years in there - it's just unbelievable."

Local vet Jeferson Pires said Manuela may have survived by nibbling termites from the wooden floor and licking condensation off smooth surfaces.