19 Mar 2017

“Unprecedented and a Totally Isolated Incident,” He Said

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A rising Canadian folk singer was killed by coyotes this week in a national park in Nova Scotia, a park spokesman said Thursday.

Taylor Mitchell, 19, was at the beginning of the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park on Tuesday afternoon when she was attacked, according to Chip Bird, the Parks Canada field unit superintendent for Cape Breton.

Bird said hikers saw the coyotes attacking Mitchell and called 911. She was airlifted to a hospital in Halifax, where she died about 12 hours later, he said.

Mitchell was recently nominated for Young Performer of the Year honors by Canadian Folk Music Awards. She was touring the Maritime provinces and had a break between gigs to go hiking Tuesday, her manager, Lisa Weitz, said in an e-mail.

“She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity,” she wrote.

“Words can’t begin to express the sadness and tragedy of losing such a sweet, compassionate, vibrant, and phenomenally talented young woman,” Weitz said.

“Her warmth, loving nature, astounding artistry, and infectious enthusiasm will be so missed and forever remembered.”

Mitchell, who was originally from the Georgian Bay area in Ontario, lived in Toronto, Weitz said.

Bird said the area where the attack occurred is popular and well traveled. It remained closed, and park authorities had shot one coyote believed to be involved. A pathologist will test the animal’s body for diseases that might have triggered the attack, he said.

Searches for other aggressive animals in the park continue, he said.

“Public safety is our primary concern,” he said.

He said no other coyote attacks had ever occurred in the park. “We’ve had coyotes approach people too closely,” he said, and about six years ago one nipped a person.

That animal was killed because of “lack of fear,” he said.

But Tuesday’s attack is “unprecedented and a totally isolated incident,” he said.

100 years ago, human beings engaging in recreational activity in wilderness areas inhabited by large predators would normally be armed. Not today.

7 Feedbacks on "“Unprecedented and a Totally Isolated Incident,” He Said"


I live in the woods and I walk everyday. Coyotes are common and seeing two or three larger healthy coyotes out scavenging while you are walking by can be unnerving. Generally they will move away from you. However the dogs I occasionally encounter on the back roads can be scary too. I am never “unarmed”. I always have a knife, when I walk in the woods I carry a cane or stick and I can wear a gun openly or carry one concealed where I live. I am never unarmed. (Well you can’t go into a courthouse with even a pocket knife so when I had jury duty I was at the mercy of the wolves/lawyers that are native to that place.) I actually prefer a stout stick, dogs and most animals see it and know it for what it is where they may not see a belt knife or a gun.

I once had a Rottweiler charge me with obvious bad intentions and I was carrying a expandable steel baton. I took out the baton and whipped it to open it making the loud metallic sound and the dog skidded to a stop and turned tale. It was intuitive to this large dog that could have easily taken me down that I had a weapon and was not an easy mark.

Capt. Craig

She died Oct 28, 2009, aren’t you a little late to the party?
GWTW is bang on. My next door, way over there, neighbor exited his house recently and came face to face with a bear, we’re talking three feet. I live in Florida. Think about that!

bob sykes

The eastern coyote is a hybrid of western coyotes, Canadian wolves and large dogs. It is much larger than the western coyote, and unlike the western coyote forms packs and is unafraid of humans. In fact, every large city has coyotes permanently residing in it. Go look up Prof. Gehrt and Ohio State. He specializes in eastern coyotes


The differences between the western and eastern coyote are large enough that some biologists have suggested that it be designated a separate species.

Since the extermination of the mountain lion and wolf, the woodlands east of the Mississippi are lacking a large predator, and the eastern coyote seems to be evolving into that role. Darwin in action.

R Daneel

Not being armed leaves one open the the predations of various wilding creatures – 2 and 4 legged.

Foo Dawg

~ David Baron, “Beast in the Garden”


You’re right. I had missed the date. Of course, it is still a pretty interesting story. I will have to be more careful wjen I follow up links from FB in the future. Thanks.


I’ve worked in mostly brush covered foot hills for 35 years and have seen a lot of coyotes over even seen 6 at one time moving single file across the lease and of all the ones that saw me weather in my truck or on foot ,bolted and didn’t slow up until they were good and far away.With thexception of 1 half grown coyote pup. I was calibrating a meter next to a rain rut and heard mumbling. I looked down and saw this pup walking just below me not 5′ away . He stopped when he saw my legs and looked up at me for a second then put his head back down and just walked on mumbling to himself. Very funny and out of caractor for a coyote. I guess he was having an off day.


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