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

September 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: Polar bear star Knut dies

Related Stories

Polar bear star Knut dies

March 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

March 2, 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

Stressed-out meerkats less likely to help group

September 22, 2017

Dominant female meerkats use aggression to keep subordinates from breeding, but a new study finds this negative behavior also can result in the latter becoming less willing to help within the group.

Why poison frogs don't poison themselves

September 21, 2017

Don't let their appearance fool you: Thimble-sized, dappled in cheerful colors and squishy, poison frogs in fact harbor some of the most potent neurotoxins we know. With a new paper published in the journal Science, scientists ...

0 comments

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.