Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on September 29, 2011
In January, I posted a heartwarming story about a beloved new animal celebrity — Heidi, the cross-eyed opossum, living at the Leipzig Zoo in Germany, was world-famous. A Facebook page was even set up in her honor, and the opossum with the comical face had thousands of fans across the globe.
Sadly, the zoo has had to put Heidi to sleep due to health complications associated with old age. The opossum was three years old. In the wild, the average life span of an opossum is two years.
Associated Press: RIP. Germany’s Cross-eyed Opossum Dies
From ABC News, Heidi the Cross-Eyed Opossum Dies in Germany:
The world-famous cross-eyed opossum who predicted the Oscar winners this year has died at the Berlin zoo where she lived.
The opossum became an international celebrity adored for her crossed eyes and confused-looking face, with Facebook fans totaling some 330,000.
The Leipzig Zoo released a statement on Heidi’s fan page this morning noting that their “cross-eyed opossum Heidi’s eyes are closed forever.”
The zoo said that Heidi had been struggling with arthritis that made it too painful for her to move, and vitamin supplements and medications were unhelpful. The zoo euthanized the three-year-old opossum.
Thousands of condolence messages poured in from Heidi fans from around the world.
Veronica Waters, of South Africa, wrote, “Heidi has done a fantastic job as animal ambassador and her zoo can be proud of themselves. In my heart lives on the cross-eyed baby!”
From My Fox KDFW, Heidi, Germany’s Famous Cross-Eyed Opossum, ‘Closes Eyes Forever’:
Heidi, a cross-eyed opossum who became an internet sensation in Germany, winning three times more Facebook admirers than Chancellor Angela Merkel, is dead, her zoo said Wednesday.
“The cross-eyed opossum Heidi has closed her eyes for ever,” said the zoo in Leipzig, eastern Germany.
Within moments of the announcement, tributes began flooding into her Facebook page and on Twitter.
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 eye problem was thought to be due to a poor diet before she was abandoned in the United States, or because she was 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.
A Russia Today news story about Heidi from last year: