Anxious staff at a unique garden in downtown Vancouver hope three remaining ornamental koi will soon be safe from a river otter that has taken up residence in the park and eaten 10 of the valuable fish.
Crews are working to lower the level of the twisting pond in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and spokeswoman Debbie Cheung says it’s hoped the water level will be low enough to net and remove the fish by Wednesday.
One of the specially bred koi was taken to the Vancouver Aquarium for safe keeping after being netted over the weekend and Cheung says two others have been spotted while the search continues for the third.
Efforts to humanely trap and relocate the slippery otter have been unsuccessful and Cheung says there has been no sign of the animal for at least three days.
She says they’ll continue to lower the water level in the pond to remove the fish because there’s no way to tell if the otter is still nearby after it crossed several busy streets to reach the garden more than 10 days ago.
“We’re scratching our heads,” Cheung says. “The otter hasn’t eaten anything, any of our koi, since Sunday,”
The drama has captured imaginations, spawning several social media hashtags and even the formation of hypothetical teams rooting for the success of either the otter or the koi.
If the otter returns and is caught, there are plans to relocate it to the Fraser Valley.
The Canadian Press