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

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Skeena Voices | A family to keep

Summer Faulcon-Nneji is studying to become a nurse as she raises five kids and provides foster care

Expect delays between Terrace and Prince Rupert on Highway 16

Avalanche control work is planned between Legaic Rd and Frank St. for 136.8 km

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read