Fri, Jun 14, 2024
Woman says closed Jacksonville restaurant abandoned Koi fish

Woman says closed Jacksonville restaurant abandoned Koi fish

  • PublishedMay 31, 2024

A Japanese restaurant on San Jose Boulevard closed last year leaving behind a tank full of Koi fish. “The fish are in hot, filthy, unfiltered water with no food.”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville restaurant closed its doors last year leaving some to fend for themselves – a tank of Koi fish.

On Wednesday, a woman posted on Facebook saying the restaurant located at 11148 San Jose Blvd., “is closed down but they left all their Koi fish.” The restaurant is Kan-Ki Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar and closed in March 2023.

“The fish are in hot, filthy, unfiltered water with no food,” the Facebook post states. “I fed them some bread but this is so sad. Makes me wish I had a giant aquarium or pond.” The post has more than 600 shares with many seeking updates on the abandoned fish.

On Thursday, First Coast News contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regarding the woman’s concerns. A spokesperson said the agency was aware and is investigating the matter. An FWC case worker later contacted First Coast News and gave the following statement:

“I spoke with our dispatch center and The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Captive Wildlife Office regulates mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Koi fish do not fall under FWC authority. To address the issue, please contact a county or city administration.”

The city’s animal control told First Coast News they only deal with dogs and cats.

Meanwhile, through a series of updates on the Facebook post, the woman said Thursday that “someone has drained all the water and the fish are now in shallow water.” 

First Coast News reached out to the restaurant owner, who says the woman’s Facebook post is “fake news.”

“We want to keep the Koi fish, but we are remodeling,” the owner said. “We have no reason to give away the Koi fish, they were a thousand dollars for each one. People are trying to steal the fish… people stealing a lot already.”

The owner further stated that Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers have been out at the restaurant numerous times, but no arrests have been made regarding the stealing allegations. He also said he was told by the sheriff’s office that “an officer is waiting to be assigned.”

A person who works at a nearby business said he saw the owner of the restaurant interacting with people who were taking the fish out the pond with containers on Wednesday.

“The owner came and said, ‘Y’all gotta stop, y’all can’t be messing with my fish basically,'” the person said. “This has been happening for months. The water’s disgusting. … So, fish basically, just been suffering.”

Tim Jackson who works at ‘Tanks R Us,’ an aquarium shop in Jacksonville, says Koi fish can “live a long time” in the conditions of the water described by the woman who made the post. However, he clarified that it depends on filtration of the tank and the acidity of the water.

“They’re healthy,” the owner said regarding the fish. “The water is a natural green, not like drinking water, you know, like what people drink.”

In front of the restaurant, a sign reads, ‘Hot Pot & BBQ Coming Soon.’ The owner told First Coast News the restaurant will reopen in “one to two months,” but will resemble a Korean BBQ-style restaurant and offer different menu items than what was featured before.

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