http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sc...s-earlier.html

It's no secret that tortoises are among the most resilient animals on Earth, perfectly adapted for life in natural environments that others would find inhospitable. But for one particularly tenacious pet tortoise, that hardy sense of survival allowed it to endure for decades in the most unnatural of places.

Back in 1982, the Almeida Family was saddened to learn that their beloved pet, Manuela, a young red-footed tortoise, had gone missing. Their house was under renovation at the time, so the family just assumed that the slow-moving animal had slipped out through a gate left open by the construction crew -- disappearing into the forest near their home in Realengo, Brazil. But they couldn't have been more wrong.

The true fate of their lost pet remained a mystery for the next 30 years, that is, until recently.

Earlier last month, after their father Leonel passed away, the Almeida children returned to help clean out his cluttered storage room upstairs. As it turns out, Leonel was somewhat of a horder, so the room was jam-packed with things that he had found on the street, like broken televisions and furniture. Deciding it was mostly junk, the family set about moving it to the trash out front.

But while son Leandro Almeida was making a trip to the dumpster with a box of broken records, a neighbor asked him if he was intending to throw out the tortoise that was holed up inside.