updated 08/25/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/25/2011 AT 3:30 PM ET
Kate Winslet and the 90-year-old mother of Richard Branson safely escaped the fire that destroyed the Virgin Group magnate’s Caribbean home on Necker Island, but there was also another surprise survivor: Branson’s pet tortoise.
“We came up to the ruins of the great house and we found our pet tortoise Brutus amongst all the ashes, looking very, very well and healthy,” he said in an interview that aired on Today. “He’ll father many more tortoises on the island.”