Ex-commissioner Roslyn Cassells says river otter should be permitted to stay in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

    1 of 2 2 of 2

      When Roslyn Cassells was on the Vancouver park board from 1999 to 2002, she frequently spoke out in favour of animal rights.

      Now, 16 years after being off the board, Cassells has once again raised her voice in connection with a Vancouver park issue.

      This time, it's on behalf of the river otter that's reportedly killed and eaten 10 koi in the pond at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

      "The current plan to trap and relocated a native species from a Vancouver Park Board public park must be stopped," Cassells declared in a commentary on the Vancouver Media Co-op website. "Native wildlife should be supported, not evicted, from our parks and waterways."

      She also stated that as a former park commissioner, she finds it "outrageous" that the board hasn't halted this "violation of a native species' attempt to survive amid the urban infrastructure".

      "Who are WE to say he or she would be 'better off' elsewhere?" she asked. "If the otter is surviving in an urban park, let her stay!"

      Roslyn Cassells is one of Metro Vancouver's most vocal animal-rights advocates.

      Cassells also stated that human beings are to blame for putting koi in an unprotected pond because they are a food source for many animals.

      "During my term I had to hire an outside company to try to save the resident koi from death because the garden was too cheap to allow greater water flow which was needed to up the oxygen content in the koi ponds at the time," she claimed.

      The garden is closed as park officials continue to try to capture the river otter.