FILE – Parks staff are trying to catch the remaining koi and take them to the Vancouver Aquarium for safekeeping. (Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden)

Deja vu: Hungry otter kills three koi, forcing closure of Vancouver garden – again

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden pond closed until further notice, remaining koi relocated to safety

A hungry otter is causing yet another commotion at Chinese garden that’s home to dozens of koi – the same garden that had to close for weeks last year because of an elusive river otter preying on the fish.

Three koi fish were found dead this week at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden pond in Chinatown and an otter sighting was confirmed Wednesday, Vancouver’s Park Board confirmed Saturday.

The pond will be temporarily closed until further notice. Meanwhile, six large koi and 74 small koi were removed and are being temporarily housed off-site.

“Park board staff are continuing to sweep the pond today to ensure all koi are removed,” the board tweeted. “We expect to be able to refill the pond within the next 48 hours and re-open the garden.”

In November 2018, an otter evaded capture after wreaking havoc on the pond, killing 11 fish. The incident captivated many, going so far to spark debate on whether people were “team otter” or “team koi.”

Parks director Howard Normann said it’s difficult to determine if the otter is the same animal from last year, but it’s somewhat coincidental an otter returned to hunt in the gardens shortly after a nearby public fountain where it may have been living was shut down for the winter.

He says a 1.2-metre high plate-like barrier was placed on the two fenced entrances to the park last year and grates were installed in underground pipes leading to the gardens, but the otter still found its way inside.

– with a file from The Canadian Press

ALSO READ: Team Otter or Team Koi? People pick sides as otter evades capture at Vancouver garden


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