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This Aging Sea Otter Plays Basketball To Help His Arthritis
February 21, 2013
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Teaching an animal to do tricks or kick a ball or roller skate is nothing new. We've all seen it in the circus or at an amusement/animal themed park.

But usually, those tricks are done for our enjoyment and fascination - something not everyone agrees with.

Well, in the video at the top, a SEA otter has been trained to play basketball - not for a show but to treat his arthritis.

His name is Eddie and he turns 16 this year. He was rescued off the coast of California after being abandoned as a pup and has been living at the Oregon zoo for 13 years.

During an X-ray, Eddie was diagnosed with arthritis in his elbows, so keepers showed him how to shoot hoops for exercise and to ease the stiffness in his joints.

Jenny DeGroot, from Oregon Zoo told SkyNews, "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."

"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 doesn't perform for the public, just in the privacy of his training pool.

According to his keepers, he almost never misses. And if he does, he keeps going until he makes it.

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