Henry, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s beloved 28-year-old Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, was humanely euthanized on Wednesday, November 13 at the Joan Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital.
Veterinary and animal care teams had been closely monitoring Henry since late September when bloodwork from his annual wellness exam indicated kidney disease. Last Friday, caretakers noticed changes in his behavior including a decreased appetite and limited movement. The Zoo’s veterinary team administered an exam and confirmed he was in the advanced stages of kidney failure. Because Henry’s quality of life was deteriorating rapidly, veterinary and animal care teams made the difficult but necessary decision to euthanize him.
Henry arrived at the OKC Zoo in 2009 from the Topeka Zoo and resided in the Zoo’s pachyderm building. He was a favorite to Zoo guests and staff and will be missed by many. Henry enjoyed grapes and green beans, climbing on the ropes in his habitat and positioning himself eye-to-eye with his caretakers. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums the median life expectancy for male and female two-toed sloths in human care is 15.2 years.
Two-toed sloths are the slowest moving mammals on Earth. These arboreal animals have course fur, long limbs and long, curved claws perfect for hanging upside down in trees where they spend the majority of their lives. Sloths spend 15 to 20 hours a day sleeping and the rest of their time grooming or eating.
–Tracey Dolphin, OKC Zoo’s curator of hoofstock
Photo credit: Andrea Johnson