It’s not uncommon for actors on TV shows and movies to be given props or clothing from their scenes once the project is done shooting. The actors from Friends famously kept little mementos from the show and Olivia Newton John kept the black, skintight outfit from her “bad” Sandy scene of Grease until 2019 when she auctioned it off to pay for her cancer treatment. You don’t often hear about the actors taking home animals from the set, but that’s what happened on the set of Rocky.

Slyvester Stallone in 1984
Via: Alan Light/Flickr

Sylvester Stallone was an up and coming actor in 1976, not unlike the boxer he portrayed in Rocky, who capitalizes on his physique and his fighting abilities to make a name for himself in the sports world.

In the film, which won 3 Oscars, Rocky has two pet turtles named Cuff and Link, which he takes out of their tank to show love interest, Adrian. She reminds him that she was the one who actually sold him the animals as she worked at a pet store. As it turns out Stallone has kept those two turtles form the movie all these years!

Stallone made a post on Instagram about Cuff and Link a few years back, stating that they were 44-years-old at the time. Many people have expressed disbelief at their ages, but turtles can live a very long time, especially if cared for properly. Some species can live to be 20, 40, or 50 years, and of course tortoises live the longest at around 100 years.

The turtles in Stallone’s tank are red-eared sliders, which can live for many decades. Selling baby red-eared sliders is illegal since they can contribute to the infection of salmonella in children.

baby red eared slider turtles
Via: Tadpole667/Wiki Commons

Though larger turtles can also harbor the deadly bacteria, they are not as cute and are not handled as much when kept as pets.

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Stallone, ever the animal lover, decided to take the turtles home when filming was done with. They have lived with him ever since and even made a repeat appearance on the big screen in the background of scene from Creed II in 2018. Stallone’s bull mastiff, Butkus, appeared in Rocky II as well.