Dickerson Park Zoo sloth Janis has died of natural causes at age 29

Zoo officials announced Thursday that a sloth has died.

Janis, a Linne’s two-toed sloth, died peacefully sometime in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday at Springfield’s Dickerson Park Zoo. Friday would have been her 30th birthday.

She died of natural causes, according to the zoo.

A sloth’s life expectancy is around 16 years, said zoo spokeswoman Joey Powell.

Janis came to Springfield in November 2017 from another Accredited Zoos and Aquariums location, and she was often seen resting in her bucket at the sloth exhibit.

“That was her favorite place to hang out,” Powell said. “Typical sloth behavior, they would only come down about once a week to get a drink and poop.”

Janis the sloth died two days before her 30th birthday, zoo officials say.

Likening Janis to the grumpy cartoon character Maxine, Powell said she didn’t have the most pleasant personality.

“That could also be due to the fact she was an old lady,” Powell said. 

Keepers had been monitoring Janis for some time and were helping her cope with allergies. 

“It’s never easy,” Powell said. “For her to peacefully go and live to a ripe old age and for her to peacefully pass in her bucket — her favorite place to hang in the night — as difficult as it is, that’s all you can ask for.”