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

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

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

District of houston
Council dips into surplus for highway project

Costs have risen to place utility lines underground

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Accessibility improvements and more classrooms at the Houston Christian School should be completed by the new school year. (Houston Today photo)
Accessibility improvements coming to Houston Christian School

Construction package includes two classrooms

The soft opening of the nature centre at the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery took place mid-April. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston hatchery and nature centre’s upcoming events

The conservation group to host summer students this year

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Most Read