Germany Can't Keep Its Cute Animals Alive

Heidi the cross-eyed possum is the latest German animal celebrity to bite the dust

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Germany, we're done. It seems like every time we fall in love with one of your adorable animals, we're only setting ourselves up for heartbreak. Late Wednesday, Heidi, known to her 341,801 Facebook fans (Chancellor Angela Merkel, by comparison, only has 107,735; Steffi Graf has only 20,974) as the "cross-eyed" possum was put to sleep in Leipzig. The three-and-a-half-year-old marsupial had been listless and unable to move for several weeks reports the Christian Science Monitor. "We carried out every possible test and treatment" said Joerg Junhold in a statement. That's just not good enough, Joerg. Heidi and her eyes warmed hearts around the world--hearts that are now hesitant to love again. How we got to here:

Knut, who Time dubbed the "world's most famous polar bear," drowned in his enclosed pool in Berlin on March 19, 2011.  After being abandoned by his mother, he was raised by zookeepers and became the first polar bear cub to survive through infancy in over 30 years. His adorable photos quickly sparked "Knutmania" drawing fans to the zoo and even getting his picture taken by Annie Leibovitz (back before she snapped the Kardashians).  Time reports that the polar bear had developed encephalitis, and only lived to age four--polar bears usually live 15 to 20 years in the wild reports ABC.

Paul, the "World-Cup Predicting Octopus" passed away overnight on October 26, 2010.  This cephalopod's claim to fame was correctly predicting the outcomes of all of Germany's games in the World Cup including their defeat (hmmmm), as well as Spain's final victory. Paul sparked World Cup fever around the world, became an honorary citizen in Spain and ambassador for England's 2018 World Cup bid and then died. Officials at the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen tried to comfort the world by pointing out octopi rarely live past two years and this two-and-a-half-year-old invertebrate died because of natural causes.

Who's next? The penguin who survived a traipse through a lion's den earlier this year? We shudder at the thought. Perhaps it's our faulty human hearts that make us want these creatures to lead long and happy lives. But if you can't keep them alive Germany, please stop turning them into celebrities.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.