When Leandro Almeida was taking out the trash, he really had no reason to believe he was throwing out a family pet that had been missing for 30 years.
But that's what he almost did, according to Globo.com.
Almeida's neighbour in Rio de Janeiro spotted the bag and asked Almeida if he was throwing out the turtle as well.
"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.
The red-footed tortoise feeds in the wild on fruit, leaves, feces and dead animals, a professor told Brazil's Globo.com, but can go up to three years without eating.
The family speculated that Manuela may have survived on termites while in the house.
However, he did it, he has now been reunited with his owners and remains the family pet.
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