PORTLAND, Ore. - The Oregon Zoo is giving animal lovers a peek behind the scenes at some unusual sea otter rehabilitation that is equal parts too cute and plain awesome.
Sea otter handler Jenny DeGroot says one of the resident otters, Eddie, has been shooting some hoops as part of his treatment for arthritis.
An otter shooting hoops? In video provided by the Zoo, it looks more like Eddie lives for taking it to the otter house.
DeGroot said Eddie was taken from the wild in 2000 when it was determined he would not survive.
Now 16 years old, Eddie's otter age is more geriatric than high school varsity, but that's doesn't stop him from flushing stuff after stuff through his Blazers-adorned hoop at the Zoo.
Recent x-rays revealed the arthritis in Eddie's elbows. "The vets have recommended that we actually work those joints to help relieve the arthritis a little better," DeGroot said. "So we had to come up with a creative way for Eddie to use those elbows, and that's why we trained him to play basketball."
DeGroot said Eddie's stint in rehab isn't on view to the public (they may want to rethink that decision) and whenever he misses a shot, Eddie always gets the offensive rebound and a put-back - along with a snack.