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Rescued otter Juno shows off basketball skills at the Oregon Zoo

By Andrew Foran,


PORTLAND, Ore. ( KOIN ) — Have you ever seen a sea mammal dunk a basketball? Well, if you haven’t, it is otterly fantastic.

Portlanders are all too familiar with the concept as our very own local legend Eddie the otter was well known for dunking basketballs, but after he passed in 2018, the torch has moved to a new bearer, Juno.

According to the Oregon Zoo, Juno is a 9-year-old rescued sea otter and she is able to dunk with the very best.

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Over the past few years, Juno has been working with trainers putting a ball through hoops to exercise her elbow joints, trainers said.

“Juno loves to play basketball,” said Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey, the zoo’s senior marine life keeper. “She gets so excited whenever we bring the ball out for her training sessions. And she’s good too!”

Only recently did Juno’s basketball skills take the main stage and now lucky zoo guests might be able to catch her dunking live during her training sessions.

During training, the zoo said that staff brings two small basketballs, and if Juno wants to, she can grab one in her front paws and dunk it into her custom-made hoop.

At the end of her training sessions, the zoo said that Juno gets some of her favorite fresh seafood.

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