FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2010 file photo, a cross-eyed opossum (didelphis) called Heidi sits in her interim enclosure, in the zoo in Leipzig, Germany. Heidi the cross-eyed opossum is the latest creature to rocket from Germany's front pages to international recognition, capturing the world's imagination with her bright, black eyes turned toward her pointed pink nose. (AP Photo/dapd, Sebastian Willnow, File) (AP)

Heidi the cross-eyed possum: Germany's new Knut

Beady, bright and definitely crossed, this marsupial's memorable eyes are a viral sensation


Adam Clark Estes
January 13, 2011 12:13AM (UTC)

Since little, cute Knut grew up into giant, sex-starved, psychopath Knut, Germany needed a new animal hero. Enter Heidi, the permanently confused cross-eyed possum.

Last December, photographers from the German tabloid Bild ventured into the bowels of the Leipzig Zoo to catch a glimpse of some new animals to be featured in "Gondwanaland," a tropical center opening this July. The photos made it online, went viral and now Heidi's an international sensation with her own Facebook page and everything.

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Toy expert -- is that a job title? -- Dr. Helmut Schache offers a less than insightful theory as to why:

It really is surprising how famous and loved she is -- I guess it has to do with being cross-eyed.

Best part? Heidi is actually American. Even better? The reason her eyes are so crazy crossed, zoo officials think, is due to a bad diet. Fat deposits behind the eyeballs.

And yes, Heidi will soon be available as a stuffed animal.

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Adam Clark Estes

Adam Clark Estes blogs the news for Salon. Email him at ace@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @adamclarkestes

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