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Otter steals koi carp and goldfish from garden pond in Oakham, Rutland




A keen fish keeper says he is ‘devastated’ after an otter emptied his garden pond of koi and ghost carp and goldfish worth about £2,000.

The attack on Ken Smith’s property in Lonsdale Way, Oakham, happened after the otter dislodged large stones pinning down the edges of a wire mesh pond cover.

One of the fish - which weighed about 7kg - was found about 50 metres away, across the road. Others were left dead in the garden.

Ken Smith with his pond, which was emptied of fish by an otter.Photo: Ruth Smith
Ken Smith with his pond, which was emptied of fish by an otter.Photo: Ruth Smith

Ken, 84, said: “I’m devastated by this. We’ve been in this house since 1962 and put in the pond about five years later. It’s something my family has grown up with.

“I didn’t see the otter, but I’m a fisherman and this was definitely not a heron,” he added.

“The stones that were moved weigh about 7lbs and the fish that was carried across the road weighed about 15lbs. A heron couldn’t do this.

Three of the fish which Ken found dead on Monday morning. Photo: Ruth Smith
Three of the fish which Ken found dead on Monday morning. Photo: Ruth Smith

The otter had eaten some of the fish, and had left others chewed and bitten and out of the water so that they died.

Ken, whose pond was targeted in a similar way last year , said he is now thinking of giving up his fish-keeping hobby, despite the pleasure his pond has brought to himself, his children and grandchildren, and other families who come past.

How can fishkeepers prevent otters attacking their ponds? Email suzannemoon@stamfordmercury.co.uk



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