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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cross-eyed opossum retires

Heidi the cross-eyed opossum is being put into retirement at the ripe old age of three-and-a-half to save her from the stress of her celebrity lifestyle.

The mad-eyed marsupial became a worldwide sensation from her enclosure at Leipzig Zoo, Germany, when pictures of her appeared on the internet.

Hundreds of thousands signed up to become her Facebook friends and she even had a stint at co-hosting an Oscars show in a live TV link-up with Hollywood.

Now keepers say she must withdraw from public life so she can enjoy what's left of her life in peace and quiet.

"Opossums in the wild live for three years at the most but in captivity in the right conditions Heidi could make it to five," explained one keeper.

Zoo spokesman Fabian Schmidt explained: "Heidi's lifestyle could have contributed to her problems so we have put her into retirement."

Heidi is even to be separated from her breeding partner Teddy to save her from being bothered.

"We do not want to give her any added stress. Due to her advancing age there were only very slim chances of offspring anyway and that chance has now passed," said Mr Schmidt.

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