Many telephone poles across the country are adorned with posters for missing pets. Sometimes those animals wind up reunited with their families and other times they are, sadly, never seen again. With each passing day of not being found, the chances of locating a lost pet get less and less. However, once in a while, there are happy endings, even years after a pet has gone missing, but nothing like what happened to one family. Their beloved pet was found alive a whopping 30 years after it went missing, and it turned out all that time it was right above their heads in their attic.
So how did it live for so long without help? Well the pet that went missing was a tortoise named Manuela. Her family, who live in Rio de Janeiro, just figured Manuela got out while they were having electrical work done in their house. They searched for her but after some time, mourned her and moved on with their lives. Aside from fond memories, they didn't think much about Manuela until three decades later, when the family's patriarch passed away. At that point, family members went to the attic to clean out some of his belongings and that's when they discovered Manuela in an old wooden speaker box, alive and well.
If you're wondering how that's even possible, tortoises can actually go between six months and three years without food. Manuela's family think she survived by eating termite larva, and since there wasn't much water around, she probably got her moisture intake from the young insects as well.
If finding her wasn't enough of a surprise, more recently, they took Manuela for a check-up and found out she is actually male. Manuel, as he is now known, is still healthy, though he gets to eat and drink more often. No word on his exact age but tortoises can live to be 255 years old.