Otter sighting shuts down Vancouver Chinese garden, 6 koi dead

VANCOUVER — A pond in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver is temporarily closed after an otter allegedly killed six koi over the course of several days.

The Vancouver Park Board says staff acted immediately and lowered the pond's water levels to remove remaining koi when they spotted the animal and three koi carcasses on Wednesday morning.

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The otter is accused of nabbing three more fish while the water levels were lowering.

Staff and partners set a live trap for the otter, which has not yet been captured.

The board says six large koi and 74 small ones were removed from the pond on Friday and are being housed off-site for now.

It says it expects to be able to refill the pond, which staff continued to sweep Saturday to ensure no koi remain, some time in the next 48 hours and reopen the garden.

Earlier this year, an elusive otter closed the garden for a week and forced koi to be removed from the pond after it started feasting on the fish.

The park board says that otter left the pond after the koi were moved, and there's no way of knowing if it's the same culprit this time around.

Back in May, a statement from the garden said the fish are often an important and symbolic part of classical Chinese gardens.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2019.

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