Coyote Attacks Folk Singer

CNETs photo for coyote attack

CNETs photo for coyote attack

Audrey Jones


In 2009, 19-year-old folk singer Taylor Mitchell was attacked by a pack of coyotes while on a hike at the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Canada. 


Study lead Stanley Gehrt, Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Ohio State University, said while that type of vicious, deadly attack on a human is rare, the danger and the nature of coyotes should not be underestimated. 


It was the first coyote-related killing ever documented in Canada and only the second in North America, following the 1981 death of a toddler in California. 


“At least one (moose) carcass located during winter coyote tracking showed signs of predation, and on other occasions live, adult moose were observed with fresh wounds consistent with coyote bites, in addition to coyote tracks leading to the moose,” says the study, which was supported by Parks Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry. 


The death of singer-songwriter Taylor Mitchell in late October 2009 shocked many, including coyote experts. 


This was the first documentation of a coyote attack in North America resulting in an attack adult human fatality (In 1981, she was 3 years old Kelly Kane She was killed by a coyote on her family’s property), which raises questions about whether coexistence with this furry mammal is no longer safe. 


“These coyotes are doing what coyotes do, which is, when their first or second choice of prey isn’t available, they’re going to explore and experiment and change their search range,” Gehrt said. “They’re adaptable, and that is the key to their success.”