We made a shocking discovery in our attic after our pet turtle went missing 30 years ago

A FAMILY made a shocking discovery in their attic after their beloved pet turtle went missing for 30 years.

Manuela disappeared from the family home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1982 and despite a long search was never seen again.

The family's pet turtle disappeared for 30 years


The family’s pet turtle disappeared for 30 yearsPhoto credit: TV Globo
They found the missing Manuela alive in a box with an old record player


They found the missing Manuela alive in a box with an old record playerPhoto credit: TV Globo

The family thought he disappeared after construction workers left the front door open while they carried out electrical work on the house.

But three decades later, after her father Leonel died, the family went to the family home to sort through his belongings and made a surprising discovery in the attic.

Leonel’s son Leandro found the missing Manuela alive in a box with an old record player.

Incredibly, the animal had managed to survive in a storage box for more than 30 years.

He told Globo G1 of Brazil in 2013, “I put the box on the sidewalk for the garbage men to collect and a neighbor said, ‘You’re not throwing the turtle away, are you?’

“I saw and saw her. In that moment I went white, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

His daughter Lenita, who had the turtle as a pet when she was a child, said: “Anything my father thought he could fix, he would collect and bring home.

“If he found an old TV, he thought he could use part of it to fix another one in the future, so he just kept collecting things. We never dared to enter this room.

“We are all thrilled to have Manuela back.

“But no one can understand how she managed to survive there for 30 years, it’s just amazing.”

It is believed to have survived by eating termites in the wooden floors and other small insects.

Ten years later, it turns out that Manuela is still alive, but his name is now Manuel – as a routine check-up earlier this year revealed the brave turtle is in fact a boy, the Daily Star reports.

A turtle can live up to 255 years – and survive about three years without food and water.

And Rio de Janeiro veterinarian Jeferson Pires said Manuela’s species of red-footed tortoises can go without food for even longer periods.

He said: “They are particularly hardy and can survive two to three years without food. In the wild, they eat fruit, leaves, dead animals, even feces.”

At 180 years old, the world’s oldest tortoise is named Jonathan – a Seychelles giant tortoise currently living on the South Atlantic island of St Helena.

He first came to the island in 1882 as a gift to Sir William Grey-Wilson, who would later become the island’s governor.

His vet, Joe Hollins, said in March: “To be honest I suspect he’s older but we’ll never know.”

It comes after a giant tortoise thought to have been extinct for a century was rediscovered.

Chelonoidis phantasticus was rediscovered last year on one of the Galápagos Islands – famous for inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

A female was identified on Fernandina two years ago and US experts have confirmed the discovery with genetic tests.

The Yale University team matched its DNA to that of a specimen taken in 1906.

And in March, Galapagos giant tortoise Dirk fathered the first tortoise born in Britain – at the age of 70.

The horny oldtimer – named after the well endowed porn star Dirk Diggler from the movie Boogie Nights – has successfully mated with his girlfriend Charlie, who is 49 years his junior.

Crocodiles of the World Zoo at Brize Norton, Oxon said: “The successful mating took place in November but we don’t know exactly when as Dirk tries so often.

“But the keepers laid the eggs in the brood and the babies hatched 113 and 118 days after laying.

“The four adults have been with us the entire time since they joined us in 2018.”

Dirk first came to the UK after being caught in 1962 in the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific.

The species can grow up to 6 feet long and mate year-round — with males known for often making loud grunting noises. We made a shocking discovery in our attic after our pet turtle went missing 30 years ago


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