A koi-eating otter has been spotted in a Downtown Vancouver garden


Remember the rogue river otter with a taste for valuable koi carp that made a home in a classical Chinese garden in downtown Vancouver?

He could be back.

river otter
Screenshot/Facebook video

The Vancouver Park Board has announced that the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden pond has been temporarily closed due to the appearance of an otter in the pond. Whether it’s the koi-crazy mustelid or another pesky critter has yet to be determined, but one thing is certain: these creatures are difficult to catch.

Last year, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden spokeswoman Debbie Cheung noted that the otter was smart. She said that the salmon, tuna and chicken were gone from one of the traps when staff arrived one morning, but that the otter was still at large.

Now, the Chinatown Otter Twitter (yes, that is a thing), is proclaiming, “Let #OtterWatch2019 begin.”

Working with partners, the Park Board reports that a live trap was set for this otter, but that they haven’t been able to capture it. What’s more, they confirmed its sighting on Wednesday morning along with three koi carcasses.

In response, the Park Board staff immediately began lowering the water levels of the pond in order to remove the existing koi. In total, six large koi and 74 small koi were removed from the pond and are being temporarily housed off-site.

Park Board staff are continuing to sweep the pond today to ensure all koi are removed. They expect to be able to refill the pond within the next 48 hours and re-open the garden.