‘I’m a Survivor’, as Beyonce and her Destiny’s Child crew once sang. But this incredible feat of survival in a dark storeroom for 30 years deserves far more respect than the boasts of a miming singer.

Manuela, a red-footed tortoise, had been living in a storeroom in the Almedia family’s home, which was filled with old computers and junk horded by their late grandfather and simultaneously creating a great story for newspaper editors around the world faced with a slow news day.

Leandro Almeida told the Globo G1 website in Brazil that they discovered the intrepid reptile in a box which also contained an old record player that they’d left out for the binmen “I put the box on the pavement for the rubbish men to collect, and a neighbour said, “You’re not throwing out the tortoise as well are you?”

A vet in Rio De Janeiro speculated that the tough tortoise may have survived by adapting to munching termites from the wooden floor, although their regular diet is vegetation and fruit. The red-footed tortoise is capable of surviving several years without food.

Main image: A red-footed tortoise (Thinkstock)