Otter Dunks Basketball at the Oregon Zoo

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Brenna Hernandez, John G. Shedd Aquarium
    FILE: Eddie the otter has been trained at the Oregon Zoo to play basketball to heal arthritis in his elbows.

    Shooting hoops is no problem for one otter at the Oregon Zoo.

    Eddie the otter was trained by zoo staff to dunk a basketball in a small plastic hoop. However the exercise isn't simply for some playtime.

    He is currently 15 which is pretty old for an otter, and with age comes ailments as with all creatures. His fur was once a rich brown color but now his coat is creamy white around his face and neck. He also has developed arthritis in his elbows. Dunking the basketball helps the balling animal's arthritic joints.

    He usually sinks the ball with ease. But when he does miss, he hits the boards, grabs the rebound and goes up again until he scores.

    Eddie makes most of his shots. But when he misses, he hits the boards, grabs the rebound and goes up again until he scores.

    Sea otters have incredible dexterity which explains Eddie's talent, according to keeper Jenny DeGroot.