Elderly sloth Ms. Chips dies at National Zoo

Two-toed sloth Ms Chips at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. (Courtesy Clyde Nishimura/Smithsonian's National Zoo)
Two-toed sloth Ms Chips at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. (Courtesy Clyde Nishimura/Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

Hangin' with Ms. Chips in happier days. (Courtesy Kara Ingraham/Smithsonian's National Zoo)
Hangin’ with Ms. Chips in happier days. (Courtesy Kara Ingraham/Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

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Two-toed sloth Ms Chips at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. (Courtesy Clyde Nishimura/Smithsonian's National Zoo)
Hangin' with Ms. Chips in happier days. (Courtesy Kara Ingraham/Smithsonian's National Zoo)

WASHINGTON — An elderly female two-toed sloth who was born in D.C. when Richard Nixon was in the White House, Nilsson was leading the charts and The Godfather was debuting in theaters, has died, the National Zoo announced.

Ms. Chips died Jan. 2 at 46, the National Zoo said Friday. She was born at the zoo on March 2, 1972 and lived most of her life at the zoo’s small mammal house with other sloths, tamarins and armadillos, the zoo said in a release. She most recently shared her exhibit with Mo, the coppery titi monkey, and Dylan, the screaming hairy armadillo.

Zookeepers remembered Ms. Chips as gentle, sweet and somewhat shy. They said she preferred to keep to herself instead of interacting with her interspecies housemates.

Ms. Chips lived more than three times longer than the median age for a female two-toed sloth in human care, the zoo said. What’s behind Ms. Chips’ notable longevity?

“She received the best care possible during her life at the zoo, which likely contributed to her longevity, as well as her genes,” zoo spokeswoman Devin Murphy told WTOP in an email.

Zoo visitors can still check out two other two-toed sloths at the zoo. Vlad, 31, resides at the small mammal house and 9-year-old Howie lives in the zoo’s Amazonia exhibit.

See video of Ms. Chips from November 2016:

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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