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

Hotel Zed Tofino has won a Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Award. (Westerly file photo)
Hotel Zed Tofino wins commercial building award

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board holds virtual gala.

The District of Ucluelet is fast-tracking temporary use permits for RVs/campervans as seasonal housing. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet reviews 11 applications for RVs as seasonal housing

“Housing is so essential to everyone, and an issue that cases a lot of stress to business owners.”

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht public works dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Top developments north of the Malahat honoured by Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Nanaimo’s Village on Third takes top honour at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

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

Most Read