Tuesday, January 11, 2011

cross-eyed Heidi . . .

My friend Heidi brought this story to my attention today.  It makes me laugh.

BERLIN (Reuters Life) – She's middle-aged, gray-haired and stays up all night. Still, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum is Germany's biggest media sensation, and she has not even made her debut at the Leipzig Zoo.

Yet Heidi appears to be the next in a line of animal celebrities in Germany. The 2-1/2-year-old opossum has a growing Facebook following pushing 80,000 fans, sparked a popular song on YouTube and will soon star as a plush toy. However, the public will not get their first glimpse of the opossum until July, when the zoo opens its tropical wildlife exhibit. 

Demand for information about Heidi has been so high the zoo has dedicated a portion of its website to answering Heidi-related questions, such as why she is cross-eyed. 

Zoo officials believe that Heidi's crossed eyes could come from a poor diet when she was young, causing fat deposits to develop behind her eyes -- neither of which causes her pain or poses a health risk, the zoo said. 

Poor vision is not much of a problem for Heidi, the zoo said. As a nocturnal animal, opossum's rely heavily on their sense of smell instead of their sight to get around.

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