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Where you bin? Tortoise survives three decades in trash

Wednesday, 30th January 2013

A pet tortoise who was thought to have escaped from its owners' home in Rio de Janeiro over 30 years ago has been found alive and kicking inside a bin in the storeroom of the house.

Leandro Almeida discovered Manuela the red-footed tortoise inside a box full of rubbish when cleaning out the room occupied by his father, Leonel, who died earlier this month, according to

The reptile had last been seen in 1982 and is thought to have survived by feeding on termites and edible trash.

Tortoises are famous for their slow metabolism, allowing them to live to an extremely old age without the need to eat much food.

It is thought that they can survive up to three years without eating anything at all, although tortoise owners are advised to feed their pet daily on a diet of lettuce and other green vegetables.

Late last year the world's oldest and most famous tortoise, Lonesome George, passed away at the ripe old age of more than 100 in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador.