Last week Oak Bay resident Lyanne Wilkie was walking along Beach Drive with a friend when the two saw a large stream of water coming down a steep driveway.
“We thought perhaps it was a broken sprinkler head and decided to alert the owners,” said Wilkie, a Beach Drive resident herself.
When the two reached the top of the driveway they discovered that a small stream, which passed under the driveway in a culvert, was backed up and flooding into the neighbour’s yard.
Courtesy of Pat Smith who works for Oak Bay Public Works and who is operating the jigsaw in this video releasing an otter that was stuck in a wee culvert for a stream that flows under a road and into private property on Beach Drive.
Look at the otter run once it hits the grass. pic.twitter.com/P88SDrDrS1
— Travis Paterson (@TravisAPaterson) April 13, 2020
“We searched and found the pipe, approximately 10 inches in diameter with a screen over the end, protruding from the other side of the driveway,” Wilkie said.
Poking out from the pipe was a little nose.
“A river otter had gotten himself into the pipe and like Winnie-the-Pooh, who ate too much honey, couldn’t go forward and couldn’t go back,” Wilkie said. “He was caught in the pipe and damming up the stream.”
An Oak Bay Public Works team showed up including Pat Smith. One held a large pipe cleaner to force the otter back into the pipe while Smith used a jigsaw to cut the end off the pipe.
“They had to poke the little head back in and carefully saw the end of the pipe off,” Wilkie said. “But 10 minutes later a little otter — likely highly stressed from his ordeal — was free and running as fast as his little legs would carry him, down the hill and back to obscurity.”
Smith said it’s the first time he’s rescued an otter during his 30 years as an Oak Bay employee.