This story is from many years ago, and we editors still have a hard time believing it. But it’s true. And we share it again in case you missed it. A teenager in Nova Scotia was mauled and killed by coyotes in 2009 while hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park according to CNN.

Chip Bird, the Parks Canada field unit superintendent for Cape Breton, said Taylor Mitchell, 19, was at the beginning of the Skyline Trail when the attack occurred. Hikers apparently saw the coyotes attacking Mitchell and immediately dialed 911. She was airlifted to a Halifax hospital, where she died almost 12 hours later, Bird said.

Taylor was an up-and-coming folk artist. In fact, before her death, she was nominated for Young Performer of the Year in 2009 by Canadian Folk Music Awards. Lisa Weitz, Mitchell’s manager, said in an email that Taylor was out touring Maritime and simply had a break in between gigs. She took the opportunity to get outdoors and do a little hiking.

“She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity,” Weitz said. “Her warmth, loving nature, astounding artistry, and infectious enthusiasm will be so missed and forever remembered.”

Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare. Since this incident in 2009, there have been no other reported coyote attacks in the area.

Illness, unknown injury or unfamiliarity with humans all could have been contributing factors to this tragic occurrence.

Image courtesy wikimedia

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13 thoughts on “Taylor Mitchell, The Sad Story of a Country Singer Killed by Coyotes

  1. yes there were attempted attacks fended off by walking sticks etc these coyotes here are more wolf like than coyote ask any hunter or sportfisherman how many encounters were had there is no use reporting to dnr they will do little its too bad we cant get permission to carry sidearm while traveling the bush,i live not to far from this tragic site and sportsmen for years have been warning of this calgary also had attacks at a skating party im glad you picked up on this story

    1. Lol if you need permission to have the right to defend yourself, you need to clean out the coyotes you have voted in office!

    2. Little bit crazy that in rural Canada, the “wise” politicians living in their urban digs tell you that you can’t even carry a firearm into the bush for protection, or even survival. “Oh, Canada”

  2. Coywolves, or Eastern Coyotes, attacked Taylor Mitchell. Referring to them simply as “coyotes” gives the impression that they were Western Coyotes, which is the animal common in the United States. Coywolves are hybrids of Western Coyotes and Eastern Wolves. We know much more about them now than we did when the CNN article was written in 2009.

  3. This may sound strange to many people who are nieve of the fact that wolves or cyotes whether eastern or western from Canada or the United States ALL have a nose that’s 200+ times greater then a human when it comes to smell.
    I remember when my wife and I went camping to Baniff and Jasper National Park back in the early 70’s, one of the things the ranger warned the group about was the smell of blood. Be warned if you have a cut on your body or if any female’s in the group are experiencing their time of month extreme caution should be taken when the scent of blood fills the air.

  4. Taylor was visiting the “Maritimes” (the Maritime provinces of Canada) not “Maritime”. I am from the Atlantic region and our eastern coyote is far more wolf-like than its western counterpart. They’re much larger, more aggressive and far more likely to hunt in packs to bring down big game. I’m a hardcore hunter and trapper and have been fascinated by this animal for years. I think the main reason why we haven’t seen more of these types of attacks is the extremely low human population density, found throughout the region, compared to the vast areas of untouched wilderness and abundant food supplies.

  5. Here in North Florida, lone coyotes are not much of a problem. But if they group up into a pack, things are different. We seldom loose a calf to a lone coyote or a pair of coyotes. But we have lost calves to packs. Because of the coyotes, the cows are very aggressive towards any canines. The whole herd will attack at once. Being so far south, our coyotes are probably smaller than those in Canada, just like our deer are.
    Thanks for republishing the information about this killing. It shines a whole different light on the lowly coyote, not to mention those who are supporting the reintroduction of wolves and grizzlies in the lower 48 states.

    1. Just thought of something else: I would suspect you see a behavior change when coyotes form up into a pack, just like you see in domestic dogs, where friendly pets become killers when formed up into a pack.

  6. I’m very sorry to hear that something like this happened, but not especially surprised. Coyotes are not shy animals. They are very smart and can be very cheeky. I spent 4 years at the US Army National Training Center in the Mojave Desert of California where I spent about 250 days a year in the field, and it was not at all uncommon to have coyotes come into the desert laagers at night. Troops often awoke to the sound and sight of coyotes raiding whatever food they could fine, and I knew two people who awoke to see coyotes running off with one of their boots they had taken off to sleep. We all pretty much slept on the tanks and trucks whenever we could due to coyotes, sidewinders and other creepy crawlies. Never underestimate wild animal’s will to survive.

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