Sunday, 30 January 2011

Cross-eyed opossum on diet to improve health and eye alignment

Published: 30 Jan 11 10:47 CET

A cross-eyed opossum from Leipzig Zoo has been put on a diet which will not only make her slimmer and healthier – it may also help her eyes look in the same direction.

Heidi the cross-eyed opossum became an internet sensation after being moved from North Carolina, via Denmark to the east German zoo.

Someone set up a Facebook page for her which has as of Sunday morning, prompted 284,547 people to note that they ‘like this’, and thousands to leave comments on how sweet they think she is.

Click here for a Heidi photo gallery.

Yet her eye problem – likely caused by fatty deposits behind her eyes – is symptomatic of her general obesity which zookeepers in Leipzig now say they are tackling.

“She is making clear progress with mobility, and can now use her tail much better to hold onto things,” said Maria Saegebarth, spokeswoman for the zoo.

She said the opossum’s obesity is thought to have been responsible for her eye problem.

Saegebarth said Heidi is becoming more active as she loses weight out of sight of the public in a private area of the zoo. She will be put in the new giant tropical hall which is due to be opened in July.

DPA/hc

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110130-32759.html

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