An otter got stuck in a pool at an oceanside property in the Comox Valley recently. The property’s tenants got creative to help the otter escape. Photo by Dawn Damilda

An otter got stuck in a pool at an oceanside property in the Comox Valley recently. The property’s tenants got creative to help the otter escape. Photo by Dawn Damilda

VIDEO: Family vacationing in Comox helps otter escape from drained pool

Family reunions are always memorable occasions – some, more than others.

Theo Truax and his family returned from their reunion in Comox recently with a more unusual memory than most. They rescued an otter.

The family had rented a property on Point Holmes for the special event.

While the weather was not overly co-operative (it rained every day), Mother Nature did intervene to give the event a lasting memory.

“My Aunt Dawn, from Virginia, was just about to go out for a walk,” explained Truax. “She had put on her rain gear and was heading out the door, when she saw an otter come up from the beach with a fish in its mouth and head toward the pool.”

The otter entered the pool (which had not yet been filled for the season) at the shallow end, then slid down the steep incline to the deep end, with the fish.

“She (Dawn) watched it for a few minutes, saw that it couldn’t get out, then called myself and my partner, and we came over,” said Truax.

The family tried various non-invasive methods to help rescue the otter from the pool, offering different climbing implements with the hope the otter would use its natural abilities to climb up and out of the pool.

First a pool skimmer was lowered in. The otter did approach it, but then swam away.

Next, a drainage hose was offered. The otter tried to scale the hose, but to no avail.

Finally, Truax went to the beach and retrieved a 12-foot log, which he lowered into the deep end of the pool, angling upwards.

“I could see that the other methods weren’t working… so I just thought ‘why don’t I just walk down to the beach and get a log.’ I was pretty sure that the otter, who spends his life climbing on logs, would be comfortable walking up the log.”

He was right. The otter quickly figured out the reason for the log, scaled it, and ran back to the shore.

This may not have been the first time the otter had visited the pool.

“The owner of the property told us that when the pool had been full, the otter had been coming into the pool and eating fish in the pool, and hanging out in the pool, and maybe this was the first time the otter had been back since it was drained,” said Truax. “It seemed like the otter was very much expecting the pool to be full, and (had that been the case) it wouldn’t have had any problem getting out.”

Truax said the event was talked about for the remainder of the holiday.

“We are still talking about it; it was just a lot of fun. The otter never seemed too worried or stressed out, so it really felt like more of a fun story than that we were doing an important rescue. Just kind of fun.”

And the video evidence will keep the memory fresh for years to come.

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