Heidi The Cross-Eyed Opossum Becomes Star In Germany

Cross-eyed and overweight, Heidi the opossum is, possibly, the unlikeliest of stars, but that is precisely what she has become – an internet sensation.

She shot to celebrity after a report was published on her home, Leipzig zoo in Germany. She has since stimulated a YouTube song and attracted nearly 180,000 Facebook fans, making her more popular than the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, who has a mere 65,000.

Heidi's poor vision – thanks to her bulging eyes – has struck a harmony with the public, but zookeepers say it does not cause many problems. As opossums are nocturnal they rely deeply on their sense of smell to find their way around. She experiences no uneasiness and has no problem interacting with other opossums.

Heidi is at present on a high-fibre, low-calorie diet, as her weight problem could be behind her condition.

Heidi and her sister Naira, who arrived at the zoo last May after being abandoned in North Carolina, are acclimatizing before appearing in public in the zoo's tropical experience appeal in July.

Peter Walschburger, a biological psychologist at the Free University of Berlin, has analyzed the unprecedented notice the opossum has attracted.

He said: "It triggers a reaction in our oblivion when we see these creatures that make us think of children."
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