For the people who thought this year's Slam Dunk Contest was a little too dull, here's someone who can spice it up: Eddie the sea otter.

Eddie, a 15-year-old otter at the Oregon Zoo, was found to have arthritis in his elbows last year. So as a way to relieve some of the stress and get Eddie exercising, his trainers discovered a creative solution.

"There aren't many natural opportunities for Eddie to work those arthritic elbow joints," Jenny DeGroot, the zoo's lead sea otter keeper, told the zoo's website. "Because sea otters don't use their front limbs to swim -- they swim by moving their back legs and flippers. So training him with the basketball hoop was a way to get Eddie using those front limbs more regularly."

That's right, the zoo keepers taught a sea otter how to dunk. And while Eddie practices his craft away from the public viewing areas, this adorable video shows him throwing down like only an otter could.

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Six years ago a polar bear captured the attention of Germany.

His name was Knut, and he was abandoned by his mother shortly after birth. After being rescued by zookeepers, Knut became the first polar bear to be born and survive at the Berlin Zoo in some three decades.

In lieu of his mother, Knut was raised by his keeper at the Berlin Zoo. Before long the cuddly Knut became a nationwide sensation, and he even made it to the cover of the German Vanity Fair.

Then, in 2011, Knut died unexpectedly after suffering a brain aneurism in his enclosure and drowning.

But now the celebrity polar bear is back and on display at Berlin's Natural History Museum. In a procedure known as dermoplasty, a model of Knut's body was created using a skeleton of the animal, and taxidermists covered the model with the polar bear's actual pelt.

Knut is displayed in the entrance to the Natural History Museum, and will be there for one month.

"I think people will accept Knut, because this is a very dignified model," Johannes Vogel, the museum's director, told Reuters. "People who knew Knut very well while he was alive recognise their Knut here again."

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After the short but sweet reign of DVDs, it appears technology is moving away from these disks.

Apparently, even cats are fed up with the increasingly outdated disks.

In a video posted recently to YouTube, one feline appears perplexed when its owner keeps opening the DVD drive on the computer. Upon seeing the drive open, the cat repeatedly bashes it with a paw, and it eventually closes.

But, alas, the drive opens again. So the feline dutifully closes it. And that's when things get really funny.

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How viral has the "Harlem Shake" craze become?

It has officially moved on from humans to animals.

The popular dance videos, which have already made their way around the world of sports, are now featuring dogs.

And it doesn't get much cuter than a litter of puppies getting down after the beat drops. Check it out:

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Dogs, Future

A pleasant afternoon in the Sea of Cortez took a memorable turn recently for a water-skier and her friends.

While they were out on the water for some skiing, a group of dolphins emerged out of nowhere and decided to follow along.

When the guy in the video sees the dolphins, he turns to the camera and says, "We're going to make a YouTube sensation out of this."

Right you are, sir.

(H/T to Bro Bible)

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For the first time in his big league career, Mark Buehrle will be separated from his family.

The star pitcher, who was recently traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, and noted animal rights activist is the owner of a 2-year-old pit bull named Slater. And because pit bulls are outlawed in the province of Ontario, Buehrle and his wife, Jamie, had a difficult decision to make this offseason.

Would they leave their pit bull with someone else and move to Toronto, or would they live separately during the long baseball season?

In the end, the Buehrles decided it would be best if Jamie and their two kids stayed in St. Louis while Mark moved to Toronto alone. This will be the first time since Mark and Jamie started dating about 10 years ago that they'll live apart for the season.

"We're not trying to make people feel sorry for us," Buehrle told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. "Obviously they're going to say, 'You make a lot of money. Boo hoo.' I know it's part of baseball and every person deals with it, but this is our first time being away from each other all season. We're going to travel and see each other and make it work. But those nights when we have a Sunday day game and I can go home and have dinner with the family and give the kids a bath and put them to bed, that's what I'm going to miss."

This isn't the first time the Buehrles have had to adjust their moving plans because of a pit bull ban. The dogs are also not allowed in Miami-Dade County, so when Buehrle signed with the Marlins, he and Jamie decided to live in neighboring Broward County.

While it may seem strange that the Buehrles are choosing to stay with their dog rather than their husband/father, Jamie told ESPN that they could never leave Slater for that long of a period.

"To me, that would be like if we moved somewhere that only allowed boys," Jamie said of giving Slater to a friend for the baseball season. "I wouldn't leave my daughter behind. Six or seven months is a lot of time. Slater would adjust. He's real easygoing. But I don't want him to bond with someone else. He's our dog. That wasn't really an option."

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Among the few beneficiaries of Sunday's Super Bowl blackout (along with Twitter and the San Francisco 49ers) was Puppy Bowl IX, Animal Planet's annual canine competition.

The Puppy Bowl itself was a two-hour broadcast, but Animal Planet played it on a loop as part of a 12-hour marathon. And sure enough when the lights went off at the SuperDome, viewership of the Puppy Bowl surged.

According to a press release issued Tuesday by Animal Planet, viewership of the Puppy Bowl jumped to 1.1 million from 8:51 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET Sunday. That was a 54 percent increase from the previous segment.

This sudden audience shift helped contribute to the most successful year ever for the Puppy Bowl, at least measured by viewership. Animal Planet reported Tuesday that Puppy Bowl IX drew 12.4 million viewers this year, the most in its nine-year history.

The Puppy Bowl's premiere telecast (3 p.m.-5 p.m. ET) drew more than 2.5 million viewers, making it the most watched show on cable and the second highest rated program on TV (second only to CBS' Super Bowl pregame show) during its time slot;.

The premiere generated nearly 300,000 Tweets, up from a record 214,000 last year.

The animals who participated in Puppy Bowl IX came from rescue groups and shelters across the United States and Puerto Rico. Most Valuable Puppy (MVP) honors went to a Schnauzer/Beagle mix named Marta.

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The swimming team at Churchill High School in Texas recently added a volunteer assistant. The coach, Dakota, watches the swimmers as they dive into the pool, intently focusing on one freshman named Ben Ownby.

Ben was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was an infant, and Dakota can tell when Ben's blood sugar levels are too high or too low. Dakota can sense Ben's levels even when Ben is in the pool, and whenever Dakota notices that Ben's blood sugar is out of whack, he'll let Ben know.

If you were to attend practice at Churchill you probably wouldn't even notice Dakota, except for one minor fact: He is a dog.

As it turns out, dogs can sometimes sense blood sugar better than glucose monitors, and now a select few diabetics are using pooches to help out with everyday life.

Ben Ownby, who was recently profiled in the San Antonio Express-News, is one of those diabetics who has chosen to use a dog, and it has worked out wonderfully. Dakota can sense Ben's blood sugar levels simply by smelling him. Whenever Ben's levels are too low, Dakota jumps on him. Whenever Ben's levels are too high, Dakota pulls on a bracelet that Ben is wearing.

Dakota, a mix between a Labrador retriever and a poodle, has been a literal and figurative life-saver.

“Prior to having the dog, we had a couple of bad low blood-sugar times where he ... doesn't know where he is or why he's there,” Ben's his father, Bob, told the Express-News. "It's almost like he's drunk."

These days, Dakota follows Ben practically everywhere he goes. Even when Dakota's at the pool and has to be tied to the bleachers, he lets out a bark when Ben's levels are too high or too low.

But Dakota's presence hasn't only helped Ben physically, it has also boosted his social stature. That's no small accomplishment for a high school freshman.

"Once I brought him to school, I got swarmed by everybody," Ben said. "But I'm not the popular one. He is."

(H/T to Deadspin)

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