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Heidi 'The Cross-Eyed Opossum' Dies: Pictures Of The World's Beloved Marsupial

First Posted: 09/28/11 01:43 PM ET   Updated: 11/28/11 05:12 AM ET

Heidi, a cross-eyed opossum that took the internet by storm in December, garnering hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans, inspiring a line of stuffed dolls and even earning an invitation to the Oscars, has died at the age of three-and-a-half, the Associated Press reports.

According to Reuters, Heidi was put to sleep at her home at the Leipzig zoo in Germany after several weeks of being in pain and unable to move.

From the AP:

"We carried out every possible test and treatment," zoo director Joerg Junhold said in a statement. "We made the final decision ... to relieve the animal from suffering and pain."

Heidi's crossed eyes were probably caused by a poor diet when she was a young opossum, which led fat deposits to build behind her eyes.

The marsupial had 335,000 Facebook fans and a faux "trailer" for a biopic of her life has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. She was even featured on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," where she correctly predicted that Natalie Portman would win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

But was all this fame good for the little animal? Edmund Haferbeck, an animal expert with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Germany feels that famous animals do not benefit from their celebrity status. "These animals are put on show for millions of people, but afterward they remain incurably crippled," he told the Associated Press earlier this year.

Regardless of how you felt about the attention Heidi received, there's no doubt that she -- and her eyes -- mesmerized millions.

IN MEMORIUM: Heidi, "The Cross-Eyed Opossum":

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Germany's beloved cross-eyed opossum (didelphis) called Heidi, investigates her new enclosure in the giant tropical hall 'Gondwanaland' in the Leipzig Zoo, Germany, on Thursday, June 9, 2011. Heidi and the two other opossums will be on show to the public in a section for nocturnal animals within the Gondwanaland tropical experience world from July 1, 2011. The animal came from a zoo in Denmark to Leipzig, where they found out that she is cross-eyed. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
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Want more cute animals? Watch the wrestling bear cubs that have captivated us this week and then check out our cute animals slideshow below:

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Five mini-pig piglets stand around their mother on September 23, 2011 at the zoo in Hanover, central Germany. Adult mini pigs reach a weight of up to 70 kilograms and a heigt of approximately 50 centimeters. AFP PHOTO JOCHEN LUEBKE GERMANY OUT

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Filed by Timothy Stenovec  |