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Pet tortoise reunites with family after spending 30 years in the attic!

Manuel, the pet tortoise who vanished and was found in the attic 30 years later

Losing a pet is as traumatic as losing a member of one’s family or friend. And after having gone through this ordeal, when the animal reunites with the family, it provides sheer happiness and this is what a family in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, the Almeidas experienced.

The incident began in the 1980s, when during a renovation of the family home, the pet red-tortoise tortoise Manuela belonging to eight-year-old Lenita de Almeda suddenly vanished. They searched for the animal everywhere including the neighbourhood in vain, and finally it was assumed that it probably ran away since the gate of the house was left open. Little did they know what was in store for them decades later.

Cut to 2013, thirty years later, when Leonel de Almeida, the family patriarch passed away. He had a habit storing objects he found as he thought they may be useful in future and so he had accumulated a vast collection of appliances and spare parts in the bedroom and attic. Clearing all the stuff in the attic after his death, they found the familiar looking red-footed tortoise in a box of a wooden speaker. Nathalye de Almeida, Lenita's daughter, commented: “We were shocked!” My mom arrived crying because she didn't believe it. They found Manuela!”

Thrilled about reuniting with their pet, the whole family wondered as to how the tortoise had survived. They think being omnivorous the creature may have lived off termite larvae.

After almost 10 years of rediscovering Manuela, the family has now found out that the tortoise is a male and has now been rechristened as Manuel.