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Why a large water gun fight could kill a pond full of koi fish

Posted at 7:44 AM, Aug 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-13 07:45:26-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – San Diego park officials said vandals caused more damage to a popular lily pond than meets the eye.  They say most, if not all, of the koi fish and lilies in the Balboa Park pond will die after three feet of water was drained from the pond overnight.

“This is horrible.  This is absolutely horrible.  This is a treasure,” said Parks and Recreation Director Stacey Lomedico.

A water gun fight, advertised on social media, drew a large crowd to the San Diego pond in Balboa Park. Some of the people who showed up,  jumped into the pond to fill up their water guns.

At some point, someone broke off a drain pipe designed to catch overflow water in the pond. The water level was left down to less than a foot, creating a deadly situation for the pond's koi fish.

"It should not have been done.  People need to respect stuff... other people's stuff," said a park goer named Tex. "Go home and kill your own fish, kill your own plants.  Just don't do it in a public place."

There is no surveillance video because there are no cameras in that area.  
However, police are reviewing videos taken at the event.