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Remaining koi at Vancouver garden rescued, otter still at large

Last Updated Nov 28, 2018 at 6:24 pm PDT

Biologist Chris Lee and his team helping with the koi rescue efforts at the garden. (Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden/Twitter)

Staff have rescued the remaining koi at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

The fish were taken to the Vancouver Aquarium while staff continue to look for the koi-eating otter

The otter was first spotted near Chinatown on Nov. 15

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The last of the koi at Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden have been rescued by staff and taken to the Vancouver Aquarium.

The Vancouver Park Board says the remaining two adult koi and 344 juveniles were caught while staff continue to look for the elusive otter.

The otter was first spotted near Chinatown on Nov. 15. Despite multiple attempts to catch it, including the full closure of the park, staff estimate the otter managed to eat about 10 koi.

“We’re still looking for remains because there are bones and heads, and different tails everywhere. So we’re just cleaning that up and we’ll confirm the number,” said Debbie Cheung with the garden.

Some of the fish are over 50 years old.

RELATED: Vancouver Park Board hoping to catch otter snacking on koi fish at Chinese garden

A specialist was hired to catch the slippery mammal, but after days of no luck, staff decided to evacuate the fish.

The saga to catch the animal has since gone viral, with many choosing sides and cheering for either #TeamOtter or #TeamKoi. Some even began selling buttons depicting the two animals, with proceeds going towards the garden.

“It did catch us off guard because we didn’t expect to have an otter in a Chinese garden,” Cheung added. “We are looking at replenishing the pond with koi.”

When asked if the fish will be returning to the pond, Cheung said they are still looking at all their options.

-With files from Kurtis Doering