A sea otter named Eddie who became an Internet sensation by learning to play basketball was put down Thursday due to old age, the Oregon Zoo said.
“At nearly 21, Eddie was considered one of the oldest – and most talented – sea otters on the planet,” the zoo said. Male sea otters rarely live past 15, it added.
Eddie was rescued as a pup in 1998 off the coast of California and came to Oregon Zoo in 2000 when appeared unlikely he would survive in the wild.
After developing arthritis in his elbows, Eddie was trained in 2012 to dunk a toy basket ball as physical therapy.
A video showing him play hoops went viral, earning more than 1.7 million views on the zoo’s YouTube channel in 2013 and making Eddie one of the most famous animals on the Internet, the zoo said.
Eddie was euthanized Thursday following a decline in health due to age, the zoo said.