Tortoise found alive and well in attic 30 years after it went missing

  • A woman grew up hearing stories from her mom about a pet turtle she had as a child.
  • The tortoise went missing in 1982.
  • In 2013, they found the tortoise in the attic.

Nathalye De Almeida grew up hearing stories from her mother about a cherished pet turtle named Manuela that she had as a child in the 1980s.  However, the stories were generally laced with sadness.

That’s because Manuela went missing in 1982 when Almeida’s mother was just eight years old.

Manuela’s family believed the tortoise had gotten loose and would never return, but they couldn’t have been more incorrect.


Now fast forward to 2013. Almeida’s grandfather had recently died, and her family had gathered in her mother’s childhood house to look through his belongings. Almeida’s grandfather had left behind a crowded attic, and as the space was tidied and his belongings were hauled out for sorting, something strange was uncovered. There was a turtle they recognized in the box of an antique wooden speaker!

β€œWe were shocked!” Almeida said. β€œMy mom arrived crying because she didn’t believe it. They found Manuela!”

The Dodo

Surprisingly, the tortoise had withstood three decades locked within the storage area. Her family suspects she survived by feeding on termite larvae in the cramped room.

Manuela’s family was overjoyed. She was still alive and well, until now!

Manuela has never been better, nearly ten years after she was discovered and 40 years after she went missing. (However, he now goes by the name Manuel  after being identified as a boy tortoise.)

Since then, Almeida has been looking after him.

The Dodo

Almeida says a lot of people still ask her about Manuel and his discovery in the attic, and many of those questions are difficult to answer considering his incredible ability to survive in those conditions. But one thing is certain: he never left the heart of Almeida’s mother.

β€œShe visits him weekly, happy to see my daughter with him,” said Almeida. β€œShe feeds him, pets him and kisses him. He’s part of our family. He is one of us.”

Source: The Dodo

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