The Oregon Zoo has a basketball star. His name is Eddie and he's a 16 year old sea otter.
Sixteen is old for a sea otter. Like other older animals and people, Eddie has sore joints. The only way to keep things from getting worse is by exercise. Eddie's legs get exercise from swimming. But how can Eddie exercise his sore elbows?
The staff at the Oregon Zoo had a good idea. Jenny DeGroot, the sea otter keeper, trained Eddie to put a ball through a basketball hoop in a pool behind his exhibit area at the zoo. Now, she says, Eddie is so good, he rarely misses a shot.
It's not a surprise that Eddie is good at shooting hoops. Sea otters in the wild are very good at using their front limbs. They grab rocks and use them to crack open clams and other shells.
Eddie really enjoys the exercise and loves the fishy treat he gets whenever he scores a basket. "He's definitely got game," says DeGroot.