Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No joke--a cross-eyed opossum

From the annals of the weird and wonderful...

She won't be visible to the public until July, but a cross-eyed opossum has turned into Germany's new media darling. Two-and-a-half-year-old Heidi has even inspired a YouTube hit, her own high-end stuffed animal, and has more than 49,000 friends on Facebook, and counting...

According to the [Leipzig] zoo, Heidi and her sister, Naira, originally came from the US state of North Carolina, where they were turned over as foundlings to a facility for wild animals. The sisters then made their way to the zoo in Odense, Denmark, before ending up in Leipzig.

The reason for Heidi's crossed eyes is unclear, but zoo officials speculate that it might be because of fat deposits behind her eyes, caused by a bad diet early in life. The eyes might look off, but they cause the animal no pain, and don't affect her ability to get around, according to the zoo. She is, aside from her looks, a normal opossum.

-- “A Star is Born: Heidi, the Cross-Eyed Opossum, Charms Germany”, in Der Spiegel

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