It's A Slam Dunk For Eddie The Sea Otter!

By Meera Dolasia on February 22, 2013

CCSS NAS-6 Word Search

Watch out Kobe Bryant! A new star has been born - one that flips in slam dunks after slam dunks without, breaking a sweat. Meet basketball's latest sensation, Eddie a Southern sea otter that resides at the Oregon Zoo.

What's amazing is that the marine mammal did not start 'playing' the game when he was a young pup, but took it up just recently, at the ripe old age of 16! Given that the lifespan of most sea otters is between 12-20 years, Eddie is . . . An old man!

And, unlike his human counterparts he is not doing it for money or fame (his slam dunks are practiced out of the public eye) but, for his health. Turns out that Eddie suffers from severe arthritis under his elbow and the only way to keep it from getting worse, is by exercising it. However, since sea otters use their back legs and flippers to swim, the zoo keepers had to come up with something innovative and decided to test out Eddie's basketball skills.

Turns out, he is a natural - And while that may impress the rest of us, Jenny DeGroot, the Zoo's lead otter keeper is not surprised. That's because the marine animals have very good dexterity and are well-known for using rocks as tools, to crack open clams.

Eddie and his long time companion Thelma, who were abandoned as pups off the coast of California in 1998, spent the first few years of their lives at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. However, despite intense rehabilitation, the two did not seem to garner enough skills to survive on their own in the wild and were therefore, transported to the Oregon Zoo where they have been on 'loan' from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, since 2000.

Native to the coasts of Northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean, sea otters are the largest member of the weasel family, but among the smallest, marine mammals. Once found in abundance their numbers were greatly reduced by 1911, largely because they were hunted down for their fur. A ban on hunting and efforts by conservationists to revive the population has helped  some, but oil spills, disease and a number of other factors has prevented them from fully recovering. Hence after all these years, they still remain on the endangered list of animals.

Resources: fox19.com, huffingtonpost.com.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
1167 Comments
to use your custom avatar.
  • aaron4/17/2014
    that otter is the coolest otter ever in man kind
    • werewolf 4/17/2014
      awwww he should be on my team to
      • Qweenniy4/8/2014
        he should be on my team
        • chasedog
          chasedog4/7/2014
          that is the trailblazers on the bball goal
          • Funny boy 30004/4/2014
            Jack you are worse than him
            • jack4/3/2014
              man im better than him
              • Sadie Miller4/2/2014
                That is the most cutes thing ever seen
                • Bossman4/2/2014
                  This article is so awesome. I never knew that sea otters could dunk. Hi sadler
                  • Panda3/25/2014
                    I love animals!!
                    • awesome3/25/2014
                      awesome

                      Vocabulary

                      abandonedabundancearthritisconservationistscounterpartsdexterityendangeredgarnerinnovativemammalrehabilitationrevivesensation

                      Most Popular Articles

                      Message In A Bottle Gets Delivered After 101 Years!
                      Think Fairies Are Real? So Does This Professor
                      Ever Wonder Why Zebras Have Stripes?
                      Get Ready For The First Total Lunar Eclipse Of 2014
                      Surprise! Giant Pandas Love Sweets Too!
                      Is The Five-Second Rule Valid? Depends On Who You Ask!
                      Think Fairies Are Real? So Does This Professor
                      Smile, It's The International Day Of Happiness!
                      Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                      Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                      Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?
                      Video Of The Week - World's Youngest Successful Singer!

                      Latest Comments

                      23 wrote:

                      uhm i like zebras
                      Ever Wonder Why Zebras Have Stri...

                      william.s wrote:

                      wow that is so epic!!!!!!!!!!!!!...
                      Baby Volcanic Island Niijima Swa...

                      82abc wrote:

                      i wish it said what the message was
                      Message In A Bottle Gets Deliver...

                      ALA