Heidi the cross-eyed opossum
Well, folks, we don't have to wait any longer. Heidi, the cross-eyed opossum, is taking the internet by storm.
The Associated Press has this to say about the cute little creature:
Since the first photos were published in December, the marsupial from Leipzig Zoo has attracted more Facebook fans than Chancellor Angela Merkel. By Wednesday more than 111,000 fans from as far away as Bangkok and Montreal and clear across Europe were exclaiming "so cute!!" and "so sweet."
Experts say that like Knut, Berlin's famous fluffy white polar cub who was abandoned by his mother, and Paul, the late octopus who correctly predicted the outcome of all of Germany's 2010 World Cup games and Spain's victory in the final, the hype surrounding Heidi is fed by a human weakness for cuddly looking critters and the ability of modern mass media to spread images around the globe instantly.
Leipzig Zoo insisted the "media resonance was surprising and not planned," but it has nevertheless moved to protect the rights to her name and cross-eyed image — believed to be the result of pressure on her eyes created by fatty deposits. The zoo says the squint doesn't hurt her.
Heidi first attracted attention after a local TV report about her upcoming home — a new nocturnal enclosure in the tropical environment — featured her as one of several animals in quarantine until it opens July 1. She will share her enclosure with her sister Naira and their male companion, Teddy. All three arrived at Leipzig Zoo on May 5, 2010.
"She definitively won't be Germany's next Super Opossum," zookeeper Michael Eisner told MDR television, as Heidi squinted up at him from a cage for a documentary about the zoo in December.
He couldn't have been more wrong.
The clip attracted so much attention on the internet, the station has developed 10 episodes featuring Heidi and a local stuffed animal manufacture, Koesen, has adapted its line of plush opossums to include a white one with black ears and, of course, crossed-eyes.
Here's the clip: