Rare Blonde Raccoon Has A Beach Day With Her Babies

A woman passing by a beach on a small island in British Columbia spotted an unusual beach-goer – a blonde raccoon with her family. Marian Stewart was out boating with her partner when she spotted the unusual raccoon on Saysutshun Newcastle Island.

The small island is a provincial park and  is located a few hundred metres offshore from Vancouver Island and a 10 minute boat ride from Nanaimo (which is located on Vancouver Island).

The island is home to a rare population of blonde raccoons. The animals are not albinos, but rather an inherited genetic trait of the raccoon population on Saysutshun.

Stewart published her pictures to Protection Island: Post Anything You Want Facebook Group. She wrote, “Mom Albino with 3 babies normal color.”

One of the members, and a resident of Protection Island, pointed out just how elusive the raccoons are. Ken Lund commented, “Wow, although often seen a few years back I have not heard of a sighting in a long time.”

Stewart replied, “Nor I. In 1985 when I 1st moved to Protection there was a huge female blind in 1 eye. I’ve only seen 3 since then.”

Protection Island is another tiny island close to Nanaimo.

The raccoons went to the ocean shore to forage for food.

There is a Snuneymuxw people’s legend of how the raccoons of Saysutshun turned white. A traditional story posted on Saysutshun’s official website tells of a cormorant, otter and raccoon who conspired to steal a coho salmon from an eagle at an animal potlatch, where all the animals would gather for a year end feast. But the would-be thieves were caught by the eagle, who decided to teach the selfish animals a lesson.

“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 goes.

Raccoons are not the only white wild animals around the coastal communities of Vancouver Island. White ravens have been spotted over the past decades on Vancouver Island. You can read more in our story, “Photographer Uncovers The White Ravens Of Legend In West Coast Forest.”

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