Manuela a red-footed tortoise went missing 30 years ago, 30 years later she was discovered in box. She disappeared in 1982 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The family did a long and thorough search, but they couldn’t find her. They thought she left the house, when the builders left the front door open. She was never seen again.
After the patriarch of the family recently died, they began to sort out the junk from an old storeroom. Besides some broken electrical items and other objects that had been collected over the years by the late Mr. Almeida, his son also discovered Manuela, alive, inside a box beside an old phonograph.
“I put the box on the pavement for the rubbish men to gather, and a neighbor said, ‘you’re not throwing out the turtle, also are you?’” – “I looked and saw her. At that moment, I turned white, I just couldn’t believe what i used to be seeing.”
Turtles are just like snakes; they can survive without food or water for a longer period. They can enter a hibernated state by decreasing their blood heat also as other physiological processes.
Even Rio-based veterinarian, Jeferson Peres, said to Globo that red-footed tortoises within the wild are known to survive without eating for 2-3 years. But 30 years is a new record. Dr. Peres suggested that Manuela presumably survived by eating termites or other small insects, also as by licking condensation.
Red-footed tortoises have a 50-year lifespan , which means she is going to have a couple of nice decades more – IF they don’t loose her again.