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Musician Taylor Mitchell dies after coyote attack while hiking

Undated promotional photo of Taylor Mitchell A young folk musician had her life cut tragically short, dying from injuries sustained after being attacked by two coyotes while hiking.

Taylor Mitchell, 19, was hiking alone in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia, Canada, on Tuesday when the attack occurred.

Mitchell, of Toronto, was airlifted to a Halifax hospital in critical condition and died Wednesday morning.

The Ottawa Citizen reports that another hiker heard her screams and called emergency services. Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers arrived at the scene and shot one of the coyotes, though both animals escaped.

Park officials later killed one of the coyotes believed to have bitten Mitchell. Its body was sent to the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island for pathological tests to try to determine why the animals attacked.

"If Mitchell ran from the coyotes or panicked, it may have triggered a predatory response in the animals," said Simon Gadbois, an animal behavior specialist at Canada's Dalhousie University.

"Coyotes are very shy animals," Gadbois said. "To me, this looks like two yearlings with very little hunting experience, probably very hungry, maybe a little bit desperate."

Fans continue to express condolences on Mitchell's MySpace and Facebook pages.

"Words can't begin to express the sadness and tragedy of losing such a sweet, compassionate, vibrant and phenomenally talented young woman," Lisa Weitz, Mitchell's manager, said in an e-mail. "She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Undated promotional photo of Taylor Mitchell released by LW Communications.

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Comments (36)

The Lord giveth
and the Coyote taketh away
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

the only thing i dont understand is why would a young woman go " BY HERSELF" out into the wild.... and she couldnt carry any protection...i wouldn't have done it... although their are hard women in the world that feel they need no protection.... maybe she was one of those girls... whatever the situation... my prayers go out to her family, friends and fans.... may Taylor rest in peace !!!

At our northern Manitoba lodge, our young bartender was chased off our runway while jogging by our neighborhood arctic wolf female.

The girl made 140 pounds while the bitch was well over 200 pounds.

However, the wolf bitch only was screaming at the girl, (NOT BARKING!)
never attacking but just trying to scare her away...

I myself and my three dogs where also assaulted in Oaks Opening park
in Toledo Ohio by a pack of coyotes.
The dogs where just standing there, totally astounded by the dog
blashemy that is a coyote cowering attack.
My two old bitches, German Shepherd and English farm dog where
too old(17 years!) to run them off but where still fast enough to rip them
apart...however my young Pit Bull was something else...I managed to grab his leash and restrain him before he get lured away and killed.
I dont think too many of the pack would have survived their wounds, knowing the Pit Bull ferocity...

By the way, another guy was eaten nearby home by one of these "nice"
Yogi bears...I dont have a pistol, but the saying: "Better be judged by twelve
than carried by six" is applying there, bears are everywhere and for them,
you are some yummy lunch sometimes, just as you are a nice turkey to pluck
for the neighborhood gangsta...if you dont carry as they do...

Notice they dont bother them Cubans in Miah-mah...why?

She's a tree hugger and it served her right. I love it when liberal eco freaks get a taste of real nature.

"Terry", any animal that decides to prey on a human should be shot...
it keeps such tendencies from spreading through the gene pool.

animal do what animals do, granted.... but killing a human should (and always will) result in the animals death (if possible).

and as to the question of whether it was THE coyote or not.... it's a coyote. There's a reason you dont need any paperwork to be able to shoot them.

Wow, thats very sad... why her, of all people? she was very talented and a great musician i loved her music... R.I.P., Taylor Mitchell. =[

First and foremost, condolences to Taylor's family, friends, and fans.
I like nature too, and have spent a lot of time in wilderness or less wild areas. Out there it's easy to find signs, sometimes plentful, of animals (cougars, bears) that could readily kill a person up to size of an adult man, although most of the time they steer clear of us humans. Coyotes usually run off, but once, two trailed me and a family dog for some time, like they were evaluating whether or not to attack. I drove them off with rocks. It seems like wild mammals are like us, their relatives: most are non-aggressive but every now and then you meet one with little or no fear. I'm getting older now and often wonder if I am running out of chances, so now (to quote McMurtry) I have found it "better to carry a gun and not need it, rather than to need it and not have it."

A few comments here.
1. There are no wolves in Nova Scotia... No cover-ups here.
2. Wolves are not attacking humans more or less than coyotes. Occurrences like this, in both species, are extremely rare.
3. The death has nothing to do with Canadian Health Care, but more with the injuries and the fact that she was in a relatively remote area, far from Halifax.
4. Guns are not allowed in National Parks... Even in the US I believe?
5. I doubt a 19 year old woman would carry a gun...
6. Bounties and culls have never worked with coyotes (the coyote bounty from 20 years ago never worked). They come in larger numbers later. Shooting them is not the solution as they won't transmit their fear of humans to their young.
7. The fact that they are coywolves (although still mostly coyotes) is not changing the basis of this story: It is an unlikely scenario. I am not saying impossible, I am saying it is an anomaly.
8. Instead of blaming institutions, the victim, laws, health care systems, etc. let's instead try to find solutions that work.
9. Let's instead look at our own irresponsible behaviours: People feeding them in parks and outside parks, people taken the pups as pets and then releasing them in the wild when they start killing the neighbour's cat, etc.

What a horrible death. My condolences.

Lisa Weitz, Mitchell's manager, said in an e-mail. "She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity."

Nature, red in tooth and claw. Forget that at your peril.

Scooter Biggs and Profit - Taylor was given the best of care. Airlifted and cared for without any regard for her ability to pay for the service. There are no death manuals in Canada. The system works. You sound like the fear mongering Commies of the former USSR.
"Guns make things safer "... hum... why are there so many more violent deaths per capita in the USA then Canada ( where guns are far less common in general society) How many people are killed every day over drug and gang violence where guns are commonly used to " protect". Guns are not the answer to protecting people in the wilderness. In some cases they are needed ( polar bear and some grizzly country) but for the most part pepper spray , a good knife and a stout walking stick are all you need for a safe walk in the woods .

Taylor, may you walk in peace.

If this woman had been allowed to protect herself with a firearm, she would not be dead. Thanks to the numbing ignorance of gun control do-gooders, you have just killed another human being.

"Yo". That is truly a disgusting comment about her being coyote ugly. She was eaten by mutant coyote-wolves! I hope you have little children who are ugly too and maybe they get eaten by Michael Vick's Pit Bulls or whatever animal lives in da 'hood where you're from!

Animals have no reason not to see us as prey. They don't care what your college board scores were or how often you visited your grandmother in the nursing home. It isn't about blame. It's about the value of human life over a simple animals. Eventually people will see through the hatred for people the animal rights people have in their hearts. Shooting coyotes once a year to keep them on their toes and scared of people is the answer. The ones that don't run and aren't afraid aren't around the next season. What the pioneers did and the Indians before them no doubt...

The eastern coyote is descended from western coyotes which expanded their range northeastward as humans wiped out the native wolf populations. On the way, they interbred with wolves in northern Ontario and Québec. This means the animals in eastern Canada are actually a coyote-wolf mix, combining the wolf's hunting prowess with the coyote's adaptability to human activities. The eastern coyote is somewhat larger than its western ancestors because of its wolf blood.

The eastern coyote migrated to Nova Scotia in the late 1970s and had arrived in Cape Breton Highlands National Park by 1981. It may be competition for red foxes, bobcats and lynx which depend on snowshoe hares and rodents for food, like the coyote. Although it is a fairly large carnivore and sometimes hunts in packs, it has not filled the shoes of the wolf as the natural predator of moose, except in the spring when they sometimes take calves.

Only fools would comment that Wolves will keep Coyotes in check and not do the same to humans who are "in the food chain" as pointed out. Hunting is a necessity to keep any animals from over populating and since there are not predators for wolves and few for coyotes, hunters are the best option. Coyotes are abundant breeders and are not kept in check by wolves. The sad note to the story is that the youg lady could not carry a handgun to protect herself.

"However, her death should not be used as justification for fools to carry guns to shoot anything that 'threatens' them."

Nobody is trying to justify fools carrying guns, but what about people who are not fools? It is foolish to categorically dismiss firearms as a defensive tool.

A sad story and proof that you should have a weapon with you when going out in the wilds to get back to nature. Once you leave civilization folks you are part of the food chain like in the old days. How quickly we forget. My sympathys to her family and friends, I am sure this is a hard time for them. . . .

Taylor Mitchell's death is a tragic incident and condolences go out to her family and loved ones. However, her death should not be used as justification for fools to carry guns to shoot anything that 'threatens' them. Scooter Biggs and his ilk don't seem to be making much of a dent in the coyote population but a healthy wolf population would keep them in check. For those experts, coyotes are not shy or fearful animals. They are resourceful, survivors, and should be treated with caution, as should bears and other large wildlife.

Why does Canada not allow law abiding adults to protect themselves?

This goes entirely against the most fundamental of human rights, the right to defend out lives.

If there are moderators, how does a comment like Yo! or Scooter Biggs's get approved?

And flash, you are correct, these are not true coyotes, they ar coywolves, the coyotes and wolves are breeding there and are actually giving birth to young that can also breed (horses and donkey's breed and make a mule, but a mule is not fertile, whereas these coywolves are).

Hmmm, I wonder...did she not meet the cost-benefit threshold in Canada's marvelous Socialised HealthCONTROL System? You know, the same one Mrs. commie-PIGLOSI & Obummer is prepared to rahm down our throats? I wonder if the death panel dropped by the room and left her some "end of life" manuals?

What!? You mean Canadian universal health care couldn't save her? Say it ain't so!!!! I see coyotes all the time and they never bother me. But then again, it's usually right before I squeeze the trigger.

Speaking of universal health care, if you happen to be one of the 51% who voted-in this clown of an administration. Congratulations! You have all been promoted to village idiots. Rock on!!

One day we'll re-learn how to survive the wild. Should be armed when communing with 'eat or be eaten' nature since there's more out there than fuzzy bunnies and blue birds.

It was a matter of time. These animals are not the normal "Coyotes" that most people think of. They are 60lb+ Northeastern canines that are, in my opinion, more like "Timber Wolves" than Coyotes. Governments will not admit it, though. The cost of protecting, and dealing with "Wolves" far excedes that of protecting "Coyotes".

How very sad. How frightened you must have been. Rest in peace Taylor.



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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.