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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)

Very sad story, but if the pictures and videos of the coyotes on the News Stories are the ones that roam Cape Breton Highlands National Park, then those are not true coyotes. They are interbred with wolves, and are known as coywolves. It happens, and is known to happen in the East. There are reports of it. Coyotes are fearful animals, wolves are not. These animals that attacked this poor woman were larger than a true coyote and showed wolf characteristics (seeing a human as food).

Its very sad this happened. May Taylor R.I.P. and rock Heaven's stage!

I'm saddened and outragged by our government policy to not allowing us to care fire arms into our wild wilderness. Individuals are being picked off by wildlife because we have no means to protect ourselves. It saddens me about the recent killing of Taylor Mitchell. Such a young promising singer/star to be killed by coyotes of all things. Canada - give us the right to arm ourselves in the wilderness. Conservation laws are becoming plain stupid. Conservation officers are armied and I believe it is time we are armed for our own protection.
As a long time conservationist and experienced outdoor enthusiastic hunter.

So, the Park Service "shot" a coyote that they thought was involved. How does a coyote doing what wild animals do, merit killing? How did the Park Service know that this was the coyote that killed this young woman?

Why was this girl hiking in the wilds of Canada without company?

Sound fishy to me Coyotes just dont attack adult humans. I would bet the enviromental wackos are trying to cover up a wolf attack

i can't believe 'yo' and 'constance' - a poor young lady was viciously mauled to death and you make jokes. i continually am shocked by such ignorant people posting some of the most disdainful comments. somehow, i hope you get severally humbled by your lack or judgment.

to the family of ms. mitchell - i hope you find peace in your loss. as a father of two boys, my heart goes out to you.

Such a sad story. Feel so bad for her family, her friends, her fans. Lay in Peace, Taylor.

Those coyotes must've had rabies or something. They never attack large prey, so I wouldn't be suprised to hear they were sick, injured or starving. Even then I would think she could've fended them off. Such a rare occurence.

"Marcus" your comment... really? I hope your not an adult.

She is singing with Angels now.. may she be forever remembered!

"Yo" your comment... really? I hope your not an adult.

She must have been coyote ugly!

sad, only the second recorded fatal attack by a coyote and it had to be a young talented musician

R.I.P. Taylor Mitchell



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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.