Saanich, BC –
The day Theo Truax did what he’d never done before began with an urgent message from his aunt.
“There’s an otter in the pool,” Theo says, recalling the message he received on his phone. “We’ve got to get it out.”
So he headed straight to the oceanside house his family was renting for a reunion and discovered a river otter in the bottom of the near-empty pool. The animal had brought a fish to eat in the deep end before realizing there was no way to climb back out.
“Obviously we’re going to have to get this otter out of the pool,” Theo thought, watching the animal swimming around the shallow water and attempting to scale the steep walls. “It shouldn’t be that hard. That’s what I figured. ”
Theo is a search and rescue volunteer who has helped save countless people.
But this, it turns out, was “otterly” different.
First, they attempted to entice the otter into the net of a pool-scoop.
“It was trying and then it was swimming around, and then it was trying and then it was swimming over to the fish,” Theo says.
They passed on the pool scoop and implemented an “otter” plan.
For the second attempt, they lowered a long, blue hose to the bottom of the pool.
There’s a video of the otter climbing up it. The people above cheer supportively, before gasping when the otter slips off the hose and falls back into the water.
“It was a bit too slippery. The otter was not comfortable with it, ”Theo explains. “And then we got the log.”
Seeing as the house was beside the ocean and Theo is a ship builder, he went searching for driftwood for the otter to climb up.
“I know how to pick a log,” Theo laughs. “So I threw it on my shoulder and nearly hit my partner on the face swinging the log around to get it in the pool.”
The log was definitely a hit with the otter.
“There was no going back once the otter found the log,” Theo says.
The video shows the otter scrambling up the log, before almost slipping off it and flipping upside down on it.
The humans gasp off-camera.
But then the animal twists back around and starts running up the log again, proving it’s determined to let nothing stop it from getting “otter” there.
“It was good to see the otter run free,” Theo says.
Theo and his family retrieved the forgotten fish too, and left it on the beach for the otter. The log was left there too, although Theo’s planning to hold onto it for posterity.
“It’s becoming a bit of a legendary log amongst the family,” Theo says, showing a photo of the T-shirt they made for him that features a lumberjack saying “I know how to pick a log.”
Maybe Theo will wear the shirt when he mills the log. The shipwright says he just might use the wood to help build a boat of his own.
Asked what he’d name the boat, Theo answers quickly:
“The Otter. It would have to be. ”
There really is no “otter” option.