Elspeth Lodge January 7, 2011 – 7:01 pm
It was in mid-December when journalists from Bild went to the eastern city of Leipzig,, to photograph animals moving to the zoo’s new facility; a tropical center known as “Gondwanaland”— Heidi’s future home.
Composer and wedding musician Stefan Langner said “We saw Heidi on TV, and we were so charmed, that we had to write a song about it,” reported Spiegel Online.
Lagner hired three young girls to sing the song for his YouTube video, which he named “Opossum Heidi Schielt,” or “Opossum Heidi Peers.”
According to Lagner, the recording attracted 6,000 clicks within its first three days on YouTube, but to date there have been over 13,000 visitors.
“Heidi is so sweet. How nice that she exists. I fell so in love with her from the first,” are just a few lyrics of the German song.
Heidi also has a stuffed animal being made to resemble her, which will be available in two sizes and in two weeks. One will be a 50-centimeter life-size toy.
The owner of the business producing the stuffed toys said part of the proceeds will benefit Heidi,”It really is surprising how famous and loved she is — I guess it has to do with being cross-eyed,” said Dr. Helmut Schache, of the toy manufacturer Kösen, reported Spiegel Online.
Female polar bear Giovanna walks in an enclosure during her first public appearance in the zoo in Berlin September 23, 2009. The almost three-year-old female polar bear, who previously lived in a zoo in Munich, has been chosen to become a partner for Knut, a male polar bear who rose to fame when he was hand reared after his mother rejected him in 2006.
Zoo officials believe Heidi’s cross-eyed condition is a result of fatty deposits located behind her eyes, which create pressure. But, they can’t be sure. They think the fatty deposits could be the aftermath of a bad diet earlier in life, and claim that while her eyes look ‘off’ they don’t affect her ability to get around and aren’t painful.
Heidi, who is two-and-a-half years old, made her way to the zoo along with her sister, Naira. The two opossums started their lives in the U.S. and were taken to a zoo in Odense, Denmark, before arriving at their final destination of Leipzig. The siblings will remain in hiding until their new home is revealed in July of this year.