Wildlife relocation expert to oust koi-eating otter from Vancouver garden

Park Board staff plan to hold a news conference Friday morning to discuss the next steps to deal with the otter and protect the garden’s remaining koi.

An otter is seen behind a tree in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, in Vancouver in a recent handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Handout/Sadie Brown

The Vancouver Park Board says it’s not a matter of if — but when — a river otter is humanely captured and safely removed from a tranquil garden where it has made a den and is rapidly munching through a stock of large and valuable koi carp.

The park board says a wildlife relocation expert will be brought in today to trap the otter and move it to a more appropriate home.

Officials originally thought the otter could be transplanted to nearby Stanley Park, but a news release from the park board says once the creature is caught it will be moved to the Fraser Valley because that is the “best habitat for a long and healthy life.”

Koi began disappearing from the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in downtown Vancouver last weekend, just hours after a Vancouver resident took a photo of an otter scampering through the busy streets surrounding the walled park.

A spokesman for the garden says remnants of at least six of the carp have been found since then and the hungry critter also revealed its stubborn “ottertude” early Thursday when it snatched the bait from a trap set to snare it, but avoided capture.

Park Board staff plan to hold a news conference Friday morning to discuss the next steps to deal with the otter and protect the garden’s remaining koi.

Read more: Koi-munching otter avoids trap in Vancouver Chinese garden

Read more: Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

The Canadian Press

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