German cross-eyed opossum to predict Oscars on TV

BERLIN Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:52pm EST

An undated handout picture made available to Reuters on February 11, 2011, shows the famous cross-eyed opossum Heidi in Leipzig Zoo. REUTERS/Zoo Leipzig/Handout

An undated handout picture made available to Reuters on February 11, 2011, shows the famous cross-eyed opossum Heidi in Leipzig Zoo.

Credit: Reuters/Zoo Leipzig/Handout

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's celebrity cross-eyed opossum Heidi has been recruited by Hollywood to predict winners of the Academy Awards on U.S. television, the Leipzig Zoo said Friday.

The opossum will appear from her home in Leipzig, Germany, on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" late night comedy and chat show on channel ABC, which also broadcasts the Oscars.

"We're very happy about the appearance and hope that Heidi will not just represent the zoo but the city of Leipzig as well," zoo spokeswoman Maria Saegebarth said, adding that the date of Heidi's appearance has not been finalized.

Heidi became a star in Germany when her photo appeared in the mass-circulation newspaper Bild in December.

The 2-1/2-year-old opossum's celebrity soon grew into an international sensation, echoing the global fame of other animal attractions in Germany -- the late oracle octopus Paul and polar bear Knut.

Heidi will hope to duplicate the success of Paul, who correctly tipped each of Germany's World Cup soccer matches, including the final between Spain and Netherlands.

Hollywood's annual Academy Awards are on February 27 in Los Angeles.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by Paul Casciato)

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