Koi returning to Chinatown pond 6 months after otter attacks
Surviving Koi will be returning to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden Thursday.
Kareem Gouda, CTV News Vancouver
Published Wednesday, May 8, 2019 4:18PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 8, 2019 4:59PM PDT
Chinatown’s surviving Koi are being returned to their pond nearly six months after a river otter entered Vancouver's Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden and killed 11 of them.
On Thursday, the Vancouver Park Board will welcome back the pond’s prized residents to their Chinatown home.
“Some juvenile koi have already been returned to the pond, in addition to donated adult koi from Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia and a private collector,” the board said in a release.
The surviving koi were relocated last November after the elusive otter broke in, evaded nine traps and racked up confirmed kills. Altogether, three adult koi and 344 juvenile koi were removed from the pond and relocated to the Vancouver Aquarium for safekeeping.
This story became the talk of the town last November. Fueled by social media, the otter’s official Twitter account gained traction and its ability to evade capture and wreak havoc for the garden spurred attention online.
Local non-profit Chinatown Today even sold “Team Koi” and “Team Otter” pins to raise funds for the garden.
“Koi embody positive connotations for many Asian cultures, from good luck and abundance to perseverance, and are often an important and symbolic part of classical Chinese gardens,” the park board said.
Those with concerns about the prized pond-dwellers falling victim to the infamous intruder again can be put at ease.
The VPB staff have modified the entrances and exits to the garden so that the furry predators will have to find food elsewhere.
However, the VPB admits that river otters are still apart of the Vancouver ecosystem and “can frequently be seen from the seawall, in False Creek, Jericho Park and the Fraser River.”
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden Society of Vancouver is a non-profit charitable organization that operates the garden under an agreement with the Vancouver Park Board.