- An otter dubbed the “Chinatown Otter” has been terrorizing the koi population at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver, Canada.
- Since it arrived at the garden on November 18, the otter has eaten ten of the park’s 14 prized fish.
- It has eluded capture for days and now officials are desperately trying to save the remaining koi.
Otter destruction: A traditional Chinese garden in Vancouver, Canada, has been closed because an otter won’t stop devouring the park’s prized koi fish.
The otter, dubbed the “Chinatown Otter,” has eaten ten of the 14 prized koi at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden,The Vancouver Sun reported – and its rampage might not be over.
Park officials have been working hard to capture the ravenous otter, who has eluded traps during its days-long feast, as they attempt to rescue the remaining koi, some of which are decades old and worth between $US1,000 and $US5,000 each.
The otter was first spotted by staff on November 18.
Since then, it’s left a trail of koi carcasses throughout the garden, including the bodies of beloved koi Ricky Martin and Tiger Woods, The Vancouver Star reported.
Park staff tried to capture the otter and relocate the animal, but it was able to evade capture when the trap’s door jammed.
“The otter did visit our trap and took our fish and our tuna and our chicken. Unfortunately a small jam… prevented the trap from closing,” Howard Normann, director of parks, told The Vancouver Courier on Friday.
Officials even hired an expert to help with the effort, but the otter has prevailed.
On social media, the otter has become somewhat of a hero, with many using the hashtag #TeamOtter.
— Sahra MacLean (@SahraMaclean) November 26, 2018
Wildly unreported. The otter gave the pond restaurant at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens a 5 star Yelp review. #TeamOtter
— Chris Coburn (@TheChrisCoburn) November 27, 2018
— Mondee Redman ???????? (@MondeeRedman) November 21, 2018
Otters are a protected species b/c of the declining numbers. Yes the koi are old & revered, but I’m definitely #teamotter. We have destroyed their habitat & we are surprised the wily creatures have raided our garden ponds. #Otterwatch2018
— Caniwi (@caniwi_nz) November 28, 2018
Others responded in support for the shrinking koi population.
— Nicole Storeshaw (@nicolestoreshaw) November 28, 2018
— Terry Glavin (@TerryGlavin) November 26, 2018
— clare (@sancta_terra) November 28, 2018
Staff at the garden, which is advertised on its website as “an oasis of tranquility and reflection,” lowered the pond’s water level earlier this week in an attempt to save the remaining koi and take them to the Vancouver Aquarium until the otter is caught.
One fish has been been rescued, but three remain in the pond waters.
As of Tuesday, officials were unable to confirm that Madonna, the garden’s most famous koi that is more than 50 years old, was still alive.
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