'Otterly' amazing: Sea otter keeps fit by shooting hoops - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Otterly' amazing: Sea otter keeps fit by shooting hoops

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@OZsecondchances Facebook @OZsecondchances Facebook
PORTLAND, Ore. -

Meet Eddie, the elderly sea otter.

At the age of 19, he's considered a geriatric otter.

According to Second Chances by the Oregon Zoo, Eddie had a rough start to his life. He was found as an orphan on the California coast and was taken to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for rehabilitation.

Eventually, Eddie was deemed un-releasable.

So in 2000, he was taken to the Oregon Zoo.

In 2013, a checkup unveiled that Eddie has arthritis in his elbows.

Vets prescribed physical therapy for him.

Sea otters swim with their hind legs and don't use their elbow joints as much. As a result, his keeper Jen Degroot had to find a creative way to keep Eddie agile- so she chose to teach him basketball.

Degroot says Eddie already knew how to retrieve an object and bring it to her, so it was relatively easy to train him to bring her the ball, by keeping her hand above the hoop.

Eventually, she would take her hand away, causing him to drop the ball through the hoop.

Each time Eddie accomplished the task, she would reward him with a treat and give him a signal that he did the right thing.

After posting the first video of Eddie and his hidden talent, Degroot says he went viral- he was even featured on a jumbotron, slamdunking at an NBA game.

Thanks to his basketball therapy, Eddie's arthritis has stabilized.

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