Heidi, Germany's cross-eyed opossum star, dead

Sep 28, 2011
Heidi, a cross-eyed opossum, is seen in her enclosure at the zoo in Leipzig, eastern Germany in June. Heidi, who became an Internet sensation in Germany, winning three times more Facebook admirers than Chancellor Angela Merkel, has died, her zoo said. AFP / JOHANNES EISELE

Heidi, a cross-eyed opossum who became an Internet sensation in Germany, winning three times more Facebook admirers than Chancellor Angela Merkel, died on Wednesday, her zoo said.

"The cross-eyed opossum Heidi has closed her eyes for ever," said the zoo in Leipzig, eastern Germany.

The animal, aged three and a half, had been treated for health problems for weeks and zoo officials decided to put her down "to spare her further pain and suffering."

Heidi's distinctive is thought to be due to a before she was abandoned in the United States, or because she is overweight, leading to fat deposits behind her eyes.

The unusual-looking opossum is the latest in a long line of animal stars to capture German hearts.

A polar bear called Knut in Berlin became a global media star in 2007, even appearing on the front page of Vanity Fair magazine, before plunging the country into shock with his sudden death earlier this year.

Then, during the last football World Cup in South Africa, an octopus named Paul shot to global stardom by correctly "predicting" the results of eight out of eight matches.

Heidi's page is "liked" by 332,963 people, compared to around 107,139 for Merkel.

Explore further: Hermit creepy crawlies: Two new taxa of wood-feeding cockroach from China

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Polar bear star Knut dies

Mar 20, 2011

Knut the polar bear, who became a global media sensation as a cub after being rejected by his mother and reared by hand, died suddenly for unexplained reasons, the Berlin Zoo said.

World's top high-tech fair goes 3D

Mar 02, 2010

The world's biggest high-tech fair opened Tuesday with IT giants aiming to bounce back strongly from a terrible 2009 by wooing consumers with trendy gadgets.

Recommended for you

A vegetarian carnivorous plant

23 hours ago

Carnivorous plants catch and digest tiny animals in order and derive benefits for their nutrition. Interestingly the trend towards vegetarianism seems to overcome carnivorous plants as well. The aquatic carnivorous bladderwort, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.