Video: Meet the Basketball-Playing Sea Otter

02/20/2013 at 01:45 PM EST

Eddie the Oregon Zoo Sea Otter Plays Basketball to Relieve Arthritis
Eddie the sea otter
Michael Durham/Courtesy of the Oregon Zoo
LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, you've been warned! Our new favorite basketball M.V.P. blows the competition out of the water – literally.

Meet Eddie, a 15-year-old sea otter living at the Oregon Zoo with major hoop dreams.

He mastered the sport last year to combat his elbow arthritis, according to the Today show. (Watch him in action below.) Within the first week of training, he started making baskets.

"He's definitely got game," said Jenny DeGroot, the zoo's lead sea otter keeper. "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.”

Although Eddie won't be taking his moves to the court, his keepers say he enjoys the exercise, which helps him stay in tip-top shape for his age. At 15, he's considered "geriatric."

When zoo veterinarians discovered Eddie's condition during an X-ray scan, they knew they "had to get creative," DeGroot explained. "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 what's his signature move? The slam dunk.

"Eddie almost never misses," DeGroot added in a YouTube video, "and if he does miss he keeps going until he makes it."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Chelsea Clinton is Pregnant!
  • Exclusive Royal Tour Diary

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus

From Our Partners

Watch It

Latest Photos

Stars and Their Pets

Gavin's Pooch Pick-Me-Up

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters