While I’m slightly skeptical about the “just so” nature of this story, it’s still an adorable story, and I don’t see any aspects of it that make it particularly implausible. Apparently, a pet turtle (technically a tortoise, but turtles are turtles, I have it on good authority!) got lost in a junk room and, thirty years later, while the dad’s kids were going through his stuff after he died, they discovered the turtle had made a nice little home for itself next to a turntable and survived several decades on, probably, termites.
“At that moment I was white and did not believe,” explains Almeida.
Crawling around in a box with an old record player was Manuela, a red-footed tortoise the family had written off as lost back in 1982.
Manuela had disappeared during a home renovation, and the Almeidas always assumed he had escaped through a door left open by workers. However, it seems Manuela was hanging out for 30 years in the upstairs storeroom where Leonel Almeida, the father, kept all sorts of old junk he hadn’t gotten around to fixing up.
When Leonel died earlier this month, Leandro and his siblings decided to clean out the storeroom, and that’s how Manuela came to be by the curb.
Poor little guy. If that is indeed the same tortoise, the poor thing didn’t have a lot of contact with either his own kind, or his humans, or anything to occupy his attention except wandering around in a storage room hunting termites. I suppose that might be a fulfilling life for a turtle, not having to fear jaguars that predate on them in the wild, but red-footed tortoises are at least semi-social, not acting aggressive or defending territory when others are around.
Hat tip to Sinned34 for sending this story along.