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: Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

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

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

1 hour ago

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

Offspring benefit from mum sending the right message

9 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers have uncovered a previously unforeseen interaction between the sexes which reveals that offspring survival is affected by chemical signals emitted from the females' eggs.

Lemurs match scent of a friend to sound of her voice

23 hours ago

Humans aren't alone in their ability to match a voice to a face—animals such as dogs, horses, crows and monkeys are able to recognize familiar individuals this way too, a growing body of research shows.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes

From far away, the top of a leaf looks like one seamless surface; however, up close, that smooth exterior is actually made up of a patchwork of cells in a variety of shapes and sizes. Interested in how these ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.