Park board considers draining Chinatown pond to catch otter, save koi
Officials have set a second otter trap in their efforts to protect the prized koi at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – and if that doesn't work, they might turn to more drastic measures.
The Vancouver Park Board's first trap, which was laid Tuesday with chicken and fish oil, failed to lure the interloping otter, so staff put out a second Wednesday baited with salmon.
If that doesn't work, officials said they might have to drain the pond. Parks director Howard Normann said the Vancouver Aquarium would be brought in to transport the fish, but that it could take days because of the opaque water and large size of the pond.
"That's kind of our last choice," Normann said.
Fortunately, park board staff have managed to locate the otter's den, so they can be more strategic in their trap placement.
"We now have an opportunity to put the trap much closer to where the home base is. We've also located the feeding lair where its taking its catch and devouring that," Normann said. "So we have two new good pieces of information to our mystery otter."
So far, the otter has eaten at least six of the 14 pond koi. Staff at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden told CTV News they’d been trying to grow the koi's population before the otter disrupted their plans.
Normann said they're still not sure how the otter ended up at the property, but that it was spotted last Thursday in Chinatown, and in the fields at Andy Livingstone Park.
If captured, the otter will be transported to Stanley Park.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Breanna Karstens-Smith