September 28, 2011 / 3:28 PM / 7 years ago

Germany's cross-eyed opossum Heidi dies

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s celebrity cross-eyed opossum Heidi — who made an appearance on American television this February predicting Oscar winners — died of old age on Wednesday at 3-1/2 years.

Famous cross-eyed opossum Heidi inspects its new enclosure at the newly built tropical hall of the Zoo in Leipzig, June 9, 2011. Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

The star of Leipzig Zoo became a national darling when her photo appeared in the mass-circulation newspaper Bild in December.

With merchandise, a song written about her, and more than 330,000 fans on Facebook, Heidi’s death will be mourned by many.

“The cross-eyed opossum Heidi has closed her eyes forever,” the zoo wrote in a statement on their website.

The zoo said Heidi had not moved and had been suffering for weeks. The pain had intensified over the last few days — even with increased medication.

“We did everything possible to find the cause of her immobility,” Leipzig Zoo Director Joerg Junhold said in the statement.

Zookeepers deemed her condition to be a result of old age and put her out of her misery by injection on Wednesday.

Heidi is the third German animal celebrity to pass away in a year.

Knut the polar bear, who became internationally famous as a cub when Berlin zoo hand-reared him, died after an epileptic fit in March this year.

Last October, Paul the octopus died at the age of two. He made headlines in 2010 after correctly predicting the results of each of Germany’s World Cup soccer matches and accurately tipping Spain to beat the Netherlands in the final.

Reporting By Natalia Drozdiak

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