Saytoechin

sate-oh-chin

The saytoechin (Tutchone for “beaver eater”) is an unknown animal resembling a ground sloth that inhabits the dry boreal forests around the communities of Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Stewart Crossing, Carmacks and Beaver Creek in central Yukon. Saytoechins were unknown to cryptozoologists until September of 1989, when a Northern Tutchone woman named Dawn Charlie alerted the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (BSCC) about the animal. According to Northern Tutchone folklore, they’re said to resemble enormous sloth-like creatures larger then a grizzly bear. When the BSCC did an expedition in the area to search for a saytoechin, they showed locals photos of Canadian animals, both extant and extinct, and they pointed to a ground sloth illustration saying that it was almost identical in appearance. The saytoechin’s anatomy and behaviour is very similar to what paleontologists know of ground sloths, as strictly herbivorous solitary animals, except for the strange detail that they have a habit of flipping beaver lodges and eating the occupants. Although some scientists have proposed ground sloths to be omnivorous, like in the controversial 1996 paper by Uruguayan paleontologists, Drs Richard Farina and R. Blanco who proposed that they may have used their massive claws to kill prey. In their paper, they argue that since ground sloths had an olecranon, which is the part of the elbow where the triceps attach, is typically only found in predators. Though other scientists agree that it's unusual that ground sloths had an olecranon, this is not typically considered enough evidence to suggest they're omnivores.


Due to obscurity, cultural taboos, and a general lack of interest, there are few known saytoechin sightings catalogued by cryptozoologists. One sighting was in 1985 by Violet Jenny, who was Dawn’s husband’s sister. She was fishing with her husband in Tatchun lake when an animal, about 9 ft high appeared out of the treeline by the lake and started lumbering towards them. They panicked, and her sister’s husband fired his gun over the saytoechin’s head to scare it off, which didn’t work. They finally managed to get their boat’s motor to start, and they took off. In the 1960’s, an unnamed white person shot a juvenile saytoechin in a small lake, but it’s unknown what happened to the body. There is apparently a hotspot of saytoechin activity in the Big Salmon Range east of Frenchman lake. If the saytoechin is actually a surviving population of ground sloths, it is likely Megalonix jeffersonii, as it was the only ground sloth species in the Yukon that ever coexisted with humans, which was about 9,400 years ago.

Picture52_edited.jpg