Koi returning to Dr. Sun-Yat Sen garden pond after being saved from hungry otter last year

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      Ornamental carp in a local Chinatown pond that had to be saved from a marine mammal late last year are finally returning home.

      A river otter made headlines for turning Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden into an all-you-can-eat buffet after staff first noticed it on November 19.

      Although traps were set up to catch it, the otter remained elusive.

      Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

      Garden staff had to remove the ornamental fish (valued from $1,000 to $5,000) from the pond after the otter killed 11 of them, including a 50-year-old fish named Madonna.

      Staff relocated three of the adult carp and 344 young koi to the Vancouver Aquarium.

      Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

      While some younger koi and adult fish donated by UBC’s Nitobe Memorial Garden have already been returned, the remaining koi will be reintroduced to the pond today (May 9).

      Access ways to the garden have been modified to prevent the otter from re-entering.

      To celebrate the return of the koi, the garden has opened a call for submissions for memories and stories about the fish, with prizes being awarded to three stories that will be selected for a feature.

      Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook