Forty-three years ago, a young and buff Sylvester Stallone introduced the world to Rocky. The movie, as well as the Italian Stallion himself, became iconic and to this day, people of all ages know the name, Rocky Balboa. The classical movie featured a pair of turtles when Rocky purchased the reptiles while courting Adrian at the pet store where she worked. Surprisingly enough, the turtles – Cuff and Link – are still alive and kicking and people are wondering whether they might outlive even Sylvester Stallone himself.

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Last year, Sylvester Stallone posted a selfie with the same pair of turtles that appeared in the first Rocky movie

Image credits: officialslystallone

Last year, Sylvester Stallone reunited with the original turtles who played Rocky’s pets, Cuff and Link. The selfie was captured on the set of Creed II and posted on Stallone’s Instagram – “with my original buddies from the first Rocky… Cuff and Link, now about 44 years old!” the actor captioned the photo. Longtime fans of the Rocky franchise might remember the pair from the first and original Rocky movie released back in 1976. Creed II is now the fifth film to feature them as the turtles have also made their appearances in Rocky II, Rocky Balboa, and Creed as well.

In the first movie, Rocky bought Cuff and Link at Adrian’s pet store

Image credits: Marie Ruggirello

Some may remember a humorous line in which Rocky expressed his wish that Cuff and Link could sing and dance so that he wouldn’t have to box to earn his living. After Rocky was filmed and wrapped up in December 1975, the turtles were returned to the ‘real-life’ pet store owner from whom they were bought. Apparently, the owner – Joseph Marks – has kept them all these years.

The turtles are female and at the time of shooting Rocky, were 5 years old

Image credits: Marie Ruggirello

The man who owned the pet store where the pair were bought met Sylvester Stallone one fall when the movie star was scouting for locations for Rocky Balboa. “I thought to myself, ‘Should I go over and say hello?’ I tapped him on the sleeve and asked if he remembered me. He said he did. Two weeks later, I got a call,” Joseph Marks recalled to the media. When movie creators found out that the original pair were still alive and well, they decided to feature them in the film. Apparently, Stallone and Marks kept in touch as the two turtles had their cameos in all of the follow-up Rocky movies.

Image credits: UnusualExistance

As one ecologist on Reddit explained, the turtle-actors are the so-called red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and usually live up to around 50 years old if they are well taken care of. “These cuties at 44 are doing well for their species,” he added.

See the video of the first Cuff and Link cameo below