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Video: Sea otter's hoop dreams is a slam dunk

By Greta McClain     Feb 22, 2013 in Internet
Portland - A YouTube video featuring a 15-year-old sea otter playing basketball to help combat the onset of arthritis is going viral.
Look out LeBron James, there is a new kid on the basketball block, Eddie the sea otter.
Jenny DeGroot, the lead sea otter keeper at the Oregon Zoo said Eddie was diagnosed with arthritis in his elbows in 2012 after a routine x-ray was performed. The vets suggested regular exercise to keep the joints functioning, which meant zoo keepers had to find a way to get Eddie to exercise his elbows in a manner that was enjoyable for him. DeGroot told the Huffington Post:
“We had to get creative. There aren't many natural opportunities for Eddie to work those arthritic elbow joints, because sea otters don’t use their front limbs to swim -- they swim by moving their back legs and flippers. So training him with the basketball hoop was a way to get Eddie using those front limbs more regularly.”
It seems that Eddie has a natural talent for the game, making the majority of his shots. When he does miss, Eddie has no problem getting the rebound and going straight for the basket for another slam dunk. In a press release issued by the zoo, DeGroot said:
"He's definitely got game. Sea otters have incredible dexterity, so it makes sense Eddie would have this hidden talent. They're famous for using rocks as tools to crack open clams."
Eddie's moves have garnered attention from animal lovers and sports fans alike. He is even featured in a Bleacher Report article.
The video of Eddie has gotten more than 200,000 views in just 2 days on YouTube and has been shared on Facebook more than 570 times.
KPTV says Terry Stotts, head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, may want to take a look at Eddie. He not only has impressive hoop skills, but the fact Stotts majored in zoology at the University of Oklahoma may make Eddie an interesting prospect.
More about sea otter, Eddie the otter, Arthritis, Basketball, YouTube
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