Hungry egret hunts Norfolk man’s pet koi

Posted at 6:48 PM, Feb 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-26 06:23:23-05

Norfolk, Va. - Fred Barron never thought he would have to install a motion detector alarm system at his Norfolk house.

But that's exactly what he did after an uninvited guest helped itself to the koi fish that once swam in his pond.

“I thought maybe the sounding of the alarm would frighten them away, but so far, that hasn`t worked. The fish continue to disappear,” says Barron.

His pond used to be filled with 25 brightly colored koi fish, but over the past few weeks, the pricey fish have vanished one-by-one.

Barron first thought his fish were trying to stay warm at the bottom of the pond.

Little did he know that a nearby egret was on the hunt.

“Some of my neighbors told me they had seen koi in their backyards, and they had seen an egret over here in my yard. And so putting one and one together, I came up with two,” says Barron.

There`s a lot of water in the area and a lot of wildlife. So, out of everything that`s around Broad Creek, why would the egret choose Mr. Barron`s backyard? Some would say, it`s just Mother Nature.

“Most birds are attracted to shiny objects. And on a nice, sunny day, the scales on these fish can shine miles. And that`s usually what attracts these herons or egrets,” says Edgar Go of Animal Jungle.

Go says it's not uncommon to see birds preying on fish in backyard ponds, especially when the weather warms up.

He recommends placing a decoy beside or a net over your pond to prevent the birds from feeding on the fish.

“Fish are like any other pets that you might have, and I`m just figuring out what can I do to protect them,” says Go.

Fred has spent more than a $1,000 already on the pond, his pets and the alarm, and he's not giving up any time soon.