Many might say it is impossible for a tortoise to survive three decades living in a record player box inside a filthy storage room. Those people would also be wrong.
One fateful day 30 years ago, a pleasant Brazilian family lost their tortoise named Manuela. Little did they know he never even left. As Gizmodo humorously puts it, “Manuela got condemned to three decades of solitude in a dark dusty place full of crap.”
The tortoise apparently got lost while the family’s home was being renovated in the 1980s. Sueli Almeida said he thought “she had fled because the mason who did the work of the house leaving the gate open.”
But that wasn’t the case. Manuela apparently got trapped in the storage room where the man of the house, Leonel Almedia, stored a variety of worthless junk, including electronic devices. Inside an old box of a record player is where Manuela the tortoise would call home for 30 years.
Gizmodo tells us how Manuela was ultimately found:
Fast forward to right now, 30 years after that renovation. Sueli’s father died at the beginning of 2013, so it was time to clean the room where Leonel had been storing all this filthy stuff for all these years:
According to Sueli, the dad was obsessed about collecting crap that he thought may be used in the future: “he picked from the street everything he thought he could. If he saw an old television, he would get it, thinking that he could use some part to fix another gadget in the future. That’s how he kept accumulating things.”
But, in all this time of collecting electronic trash, he never noticed the poor trapped tortoise. Only when they cleaned the room and they were putting all this garbage outside, someone noticed it. It was a neighbor who told them, said Leandro de Almeida, Leonel’s son: “I put the bag of trash on the floor and the neighbor asked me if I was going to throw the turtle away too. I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
A Brazilian news channel talked with veterinary professor Jeferson Pires to figure out exactly how the animal could have survived all that time inside the storage room. The professor said turtles are very resilient and can “live long with eating much” despite unfavorable conditions.
The family says Manuela probably lived off of termites and other insects in the house, but they don’t really care. They are thrilled to have the family pet back in the house.
And they lived happily ever after. It’s unclear if the tortoise still has some unresolved resentment towards his family.