It remains a mystery how a single river otter made its way into Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, but it appears that he is sure happy to be there.
The otter has made the garden’s prized koi fish its meal of choice, with the staff reporting that at least five adult koi have been eaten by the uninvited visitor.
Spotted an #otter eating some koi in @vangarden #ChinatownYVR after visiting the #EastsideCultureCrawl! @ParkBoard @CityofVancouver @BCWildlife @vanaqua can anyone help relocate this little guy back to the wild? pic.twitter.com/DQcYjrqrMm
— VanDesignBureau (@VanDesignBureau) November 19, 2018
“It is very concerning because we don’t have a lot of koi in the garden and we treat them like part of the team. It is sad to see some of them getting killed,” said Debbie Cheung, marketing and communications manager.
Unfortunately, the otter’s feast has also caused a ripple effect, as the staff at the garden have seen a new predator take interest in the koi as well. A heron was seen trying to snack on the young fish for at least an hour.
“The koi is stressed so they’re swimming around, so it is more opportunity for a heron, for example, to come and actually catch the smaller koi,” Cheung explained.
“It’s actually very heartbreaking because we’re hoping the koi can spawn and that it can grow naturally, but now we have to look into how we can replenish the koi population,” she explained.
Here’s to hoping the otter has gotten his fill and is ready to head to a new “restaurant.”