'Lost' Tortoise Found Alive in Storeroom After 30 Years

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Dogs may be good at fetch, but tortoises are the masters of hide-and-seek. According to Io9, a red-footed tortoise who was believed to have escaped her home 30 years ago was found alive and well in the family's storeroom.



Manuela the tortoise made her supposed disappearing act from the Almedia family in Rio De Janiero back in 1982. The family was renovating their home, and admittedly were not keeping an eye on the animal's whereabouts. When they couldn't find Manuela later, they assumed she slipped out a door left open by workers.

In reality, Manuela had just found an awesome hiding spot inside a bag of junk in the house's upstairs storeroom. The animal's secret lair wasn't discovered until recently, when the family was cleaning out the space. The father of the Almedia family died recently, and his children were going through the belongings their father kept in the storeroom.

Some of the boxes and bags in the storeroom were taken to the curb for trash collection. It was in one of these bags that the Almedias' neighbor spotted Manuela. The neighbor asked the family if they were planning to throw out the tortoise as well.

Manuela has now been reunited with her long lost family and is free to roam the rest of the house once again. Veterinarians who examined Manuela say that she is in good health. Tortoises are know for being resilient, lasting up to three years without food. Professionals believe Manuela got by on the occasional meal of termites.

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