I swear, I am not making this up. I mean, it may not actually exist, but it's real, even if it's fake.

Northwestern Canada has its own cryptid, a seldom-seen beastie called the "Yukon Beaver Eater." Some indigenous peoples of that region apparently call it the saytoechin, but that doesn't lend itself to ribald jokes, so "Yukon Beaver Eater" has become the go-to nomenclature.

The beast resembles very large bear, with claws and, possibly, a long tail. Speculation in the cryptid community suggests it may be the megatherium, an extinct giant ground sloth, or even, oddly enough, castoroides, an extinct giant beaver. Both of these creatures once lived in the Americas and, for all I know, may have survived into the human era, though evidence of that is lacking. More significantly, it seems unlikely either would feed on a diet of beavers.

About that long tail, though.

In September of 1989, one Dawn Charlie contacted the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club regarding this creature, hitherto known, apparently, only from local oral tradition. Saytoechin, she claimed, was nine feet tall and could open beaver lodges to consume the tender treats within. Charlie repeated other stories in the 1990s, telling of an encounter between three people with the beast. They were fishing when the large creature, bear-like but with the distinctive tail and claws, approached them. It retreated after being shot twice. Charlie also contributed to a Tourism and Culture article for the Yukon Government that fails to name the Saytoechin, but does include some old lore. One of the ancient stories concerns a "big animal." "Big Animal" acts a little like the Beaver Eater, but the article speculates it may have been something like a woolly mammoth, which would have been known to the ancestors of the First Nations. A woolly mammoth does not resemble the Saytoechin, so, even if oral tradition preserved the memory of mammoths and mastodons, it seems unlikely they would be responsible for the spread of Beaver Eater lore.

Point in fact, Dawn Charlie's reports (so far as I can determine) form the basis of every available account of the Beaver Eater. I can find no earlier references, nor further dramatic accounts of encounters with this furry beast. I don't dispute that strange things could remain hidden in the thick bush from that region, but would locals have clammed up about their existence for such a long time? We may never get to the bottom of this one, but I really wonder if everywhere just needs to have its own local monster.

I think the biggest mystery is why there isn't a Yukon hockey team using the name.

A few sources:

Karl Shuker, "The Yukon Beaver Eater, and Ground Sloths in New Zealand?" Shukurnature, March 8, 2016. http://karlshuker.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-yukon-beaver-eater-and-ground.html.

Dawn Charlie, et al. Lutthi Män & Tachän Män Hudé Hudän: Frenchman and Tatchun Lakes: Long Ago People. Department of Tourism and Culture, Yukon Government. http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/long_ago_people.html.

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