A blonde raccoon out and about with its family on Saysutshun north of Midden Bay on Wednesday, July 27. (Photo courtesy Marian Stewart)

Island-dwelling blonde raccoon hits the beach on hot summer day

Boater gets up close to blonde mother raccoon and kits on Saysutshun

Among the beach-goers on one of the hottest days of the summer yesterday was one of Saysutshun’s blonde raccoons.

Marian Stewart, a resident of nearby Protection Island, and her partner had crossed over to scrape the bottom of their boat, and spotted the raccoon north of Midden Bay in the mid-afternoon July 27.

“Mom came down with three of her babies. She was completely blonde and those are dark little babies,” Stewart said.

(Photo courtesy Marian Stewart)

(Photo courtesy Marian Stewart)

The genetic trait has been passed down over the years among Saysutshun’s raccoon population. Stewart said in the mid 1980s she had a huge white raccoon on her roof on Protection Island, and has seen blonde raccoons three or four times over the past 35 years.

READ MORE: Wildlife recovery centre in Errington celebrates release of 6 bears back into wild

According to a traditional story posted on Saysutshun’s official website, a cormorant, otter and raccoon conspired to steal a coho salmon at a feast, but were caught by the eagle, who started handing out punishments.

(Photo courtesy Marian Stewart)

(Photo courtesy Marian Stewart)

“As each one was getting in trouble, Raccoon became more and more afraid of what was going to happen to him because he had planned the whole idea and … became so afraid he turned white,” the story notes.

To read the full story, visit newcastleisland.ca/culture-and-history. For more information about visiting Saysutshun, visit newcastleisland.ca.

READ MORE: Newcastle to Saysutshun: island park off Nanaimo renamed Snuneymuxw First Nation heritage

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