Press release

Koi now back home at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Ornamental koi are once again swimming in the pond at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Three adult koi and 344 juvenile koi were removed from the pond last November after a river otter entered the Garden and killed 11 koi. The fish were kept at the Vancouver Aquarium for safekeeping.

Half of the juvenile koi were returned to the pond in March and five koi donated by a collector were introduced to the pond in April. Another 10 adult koi donated by Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia were introduced to the pond earlier this week.

Today, three resident adult koi and two donated adult koi, along with the remaining juvenile koi were released in the pond.

“I’m very pleased that the koi, which embody many noble qualities and ideals, are back in their home. There was much interest and concern in the fate of the koi, both locally and internationally,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon. “To deter otters from entering the Garden our staff have added steel plates to park gates.”

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden Executive Director Vincent Kwan said: “Over the past few months, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden has worked to facilitate the safe return of koi to our pond. We would like to thank all partners involved for their valued collaboration, expertise, and generosity during this process. Our gratitude also extends to the community, and the amazing support they have shown throughout this whole incident. While the loss of our koi has been difficult, the love and care this community has for the Garden have been nothing short of extraordinary.”

“We were happy to provide support to both the Park Board and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden during the koi rescue this past fall as well as to continue caring for the adult and juvenile koi during the winter months,” said Lee Newman, the curator of fishes at the Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative. “It’s a great feeling to return these popular fishes to the Garden today.”

“Nitobe Memorial Garden, part of UBC Botanical Garden, is pleased to be in a position to share our koi fish with Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. When we heard about the otter our team wanted to help. Our gardens regularly collaborate through Gardens British Columbia and this is just one more way we are able to support each other.”

River otters are part of Vancouver’s urban ecosystem and can frequently be seen from the seawall, in False Creek, Jericho Park and the Fraser River.

Koi embody positive connotations for many Asian cultures, from good luck and abundance to perseverance, and are often an important and symbolic part of classical Chinese gardens.
Modeled after the Ming Dynasty scholars’ gardens in the city of Suzhou, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden became the first authentic full-scale Chinese garden built outside of China. It was completed in 1986.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society of Vancouver is a non-profit charitable organization that operates the garden under an agreement with the Vancouver Park Board.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a registered museum in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. The Garden is operated by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society of Vancouver.

Vancouver Aquarium®
Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative, is one of the world’s leading accredited aquariums, dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. vanaqua.org

Nitobe Memorial Garden
Nitobe Memorial Garden is a traditional Japanese stroll garden and authentic tea house located at the University of British Columbia. http://botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/nitobe

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Photos of koi captured this week at Nitobe Memorial Garden and video of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden Executive Director Vincent Kwan:
www.dropbox.com/sh/jdmq3bouzxnixx2/AAAVfgTEp1EyAM3iV5mKUk9Ca?dl=0

Media contacts:
Vancouver Park Board
604-257-8440

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
604-662-3207 x 204