Put Out of Her Misery: Cross-Eyed Opossum Heidi Is Dead
Leipzig Zoo's star attraction, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum, is dead. Keepers put her to sleep Wednesday after unsuccessfully trying to treat her arthritis.
She became famous because of her crossed eyes which were apparently due to excessive weight. But it was a different health problem that caused keepers to put Heidi the opossum to sleep.
The zoo's director, Jörg Junhold, said the decision had been made "in the interests of the animal." Keepers wanted to spare her further pain and suffering, he said.
In recent weeks, Heidi had hardly moved, as a result of her arthritis. "We carried out all possible examinations and treatments," Junhold said. The only explanation, he added, was old age, something that the veterinarians could do nothing against.
Leipzig Zoo first presented Heidi, who was born in May 2008 and had previously lived in Denmark's Odense Zoo, to the public in December 2010. She quickly became a media sensation because of her cute cross-eyed look, and was the star attraction of the zoo's "Gondwanaland" tropical house, which opened in July 2011. A toy manufacturer made cross-eyed opossum toys in tribute to the creature, and she even made an appearance on an American television show about the 2011 Oscars.
dgs -- with wires
Stay informed with our free news services:
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2011
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH
MORE FROM SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL
German PoliticsMerkel's Moves: Power Struggles in Berlin
World War IITruth and Reconciliation: Why the War Still Haunts Europe
EnergyGreen Power: The Future of Energy
European UnionUnited Europe: A Continental Project
Climate ChangeGlobal Warming: Curbing Carbon Before It's Too Late