Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nobody's purr-fect: Frank the cross-eyed jaguar becomes the latest animal star


Frank the cross-eyed Jaguar is a firm favourite with visitors to Delitzscher Zoo because of his rare eye condition

Frank the Jaguar could be forgiven for not being the biggest fan of tree climbing.
That’s because the 14-year-old Jaguar suffers from a condition that has left him cross-eyed and, just like humans, depth perception isn’t his strongest asset.

But far from purr-fect Frank can take comfort because all the signs point to him becoming a worldwide star from his enclosure at Delitzscher Zoo in Germany.

That’s because Heidi the Possum, who lives in nearby Leipzig Zoo in Germany and is a fellow furry creature with just the same problem, has become a huge internet sensation.

Heidi now has a hit YouTube song, her own toy and more than 300,000 fans on Facebook.

She also learnt this week that she will appear on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on Oscars night, where she is believed to be predicting the award winners – hoping to emulate the powers of another German animal superstar, Paul the Octopus, who correctly guessed World Cup match outcomes.

Face-to-face: Frank the Jaguar must be hoping he can be as successful as Heidi the Possum, who lives at a nearby zoo in Germany. Heidi now has 600,000 fans on Facebook, a hit YouTube song and her own toy

Frank’s spokesman said no one at the zoo quite knows why the jaguar was born with his eye condition, but has adapted very well to his surroundings.

He added: ‘He's very happy but he wouldn't survive in the wild like this.

‘He's not much of a hunter and he doesn't like to climb, but when you look at his eyes you can understand why.’

The condition in humans, known as strabismus, can be genetic, when a part of the brain called the ‘fusion centre’ fails to develop properly. It can also occur through muscle or nerve damage.

source: dailymail

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