Otter 6, humans 0: Battle continues to oust koi muncher from Vancouver garden

Two more traps were added in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden, but otter evaded capture and snatched bait

A river otter with a taste for valuable koi carp may also have a flair for drama as it continues to avoid humane traps and confound efforts to remove it from a classical Chinese garden in downtown Vancouver.

Two more traps have been added to the one set late Tuesday in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden but spokeswoman Debbie Cheung says not only has the otter evaded capture, it also appears to have snatched the bait.

She says the salmon, tuna and chicken were gone from one of the traps when staff arrived Thursday morning, but there was no immediate sign that any more koi had been eaten overnight.

One of the traps is barely a metre from what officials believe is the otter’s new den and another is near the area where staff have found gnawed remains of most of the six large, valuable koi that were among more than a dozen of the garden’s once-thriving carp stocks.

The city’s director of parks Howard Normann has said motion cameras could also be installed in the garden in hopes of tracking the otter, and Cheung says it’s time to “look at plan B.”

The public side of the extensive, walled garden on the edge of Vancouver’s Chinatown has been closed while the search for the otter continues.

“I feel really sad that we are losing our koi but at the same time, the otter is really smart,” says Cheung. “I hope that he is full from eating the bait and doesn’t go after our fish.”

READ MORE: Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

How the otter arrived in the tranquil, walled garden remains a mystery but Vancouver resident Chris Galer has offered a clue.

He has a photo of an otter he spotted scampering across streets in Chinatown on Saturday night before it disappeared in bushes, barely a block from the Sun Yat-Sen enclosure.

“It was clearly an otter,” Galer says, adding his wife didn’t believe him until they both saw it as they crossed another street.

Officials say they hope to trap and relocate the otter to Stanley Park, believed to be its home.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Fire damages home on Fifth Avenue in Port Alberni

Fire crews spend late morning hours knocking down blaze

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Alberni Valley volunteer wins BC Hockey award

Kellie Steel named one of nine unsung heroes through COVID-19

LOOK BACK: Fred Brand, Brand’s Sawmill

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read