Vancouver Islanders are used to living alongside otters, though its rare to bump into them in your own neighbourhood.
View Royal resident Kyle Porter did just that, catching the video of the river otter travelling along the road on May 17 as it travelled by his house.
The otter trotted along the road before disappearing behind a hedge.
While cute, otters have been causing other View Royal residents some mischief. Mike Knippel lives near the harbour although not on the waterside, and has a pond in his backgarden with fish in it which routinely go missing throughout the summer.
“For them to target our backyard, they have to be able to smell those fish through a full yard and then cross the road and then come into our backyard,” he said.
He says he’s had three run-ins with otters in his garden. At times he’s been within 25 feet. Once his 35-year-old son rounded the corner and was face to face with an otter standing three feet away from him, who quickly scarpered.
Despite never catching them in the act, Knippel suspects otters are pilfering fish from his pond, although he does know heron also occasionally snack there.
One year Knippel put koi fish in his pond, but said the large, colourful creatures quickly went missing.
“They were gone within months. I guess the otters really liked them. The birds have to see them as they’re going to come down, so with koi you’re just making it easier for the birds to see them. So we’ve only tried that once and koi fish are more expensive than goldfish. So we didn’t do that again.”
One option would be to place a net over the pond, but Knippel said that would ruin his family’s view of it and defeat the purpose.
Now he mainly fills it with goldfish and minnows which just need to replaced every once in a while.
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