This seems like a sad first: Coyotes apparently killed a 19-year-old Canadian folk singer while she was on break from tour in Canada's Cape Breton National Park. Taylor Mitchell, an up-and-coming Toronto musician touring Canada's Maritime provinces, was hiking along that park's popular Skyline Trail when two coyotes ganged up and attacked her. Other hikers chased the animals away, but Mitchell later died of her injuries in a Halifax hospital.
Coyote attacks are exceedingly rare, with most incidents involving young children. Injuries rarely surpass a few bites. Officials aren't sure what provoked this attack, though they don't suspect rabies.
"They may have snuck up on her and knocked her over before she even knew what happened," (park biologist Bob Bancroft) said. "They may have been youngsters. They just may not have had a lot of experience, or they may have just capitalized on a situation where a young person was acting vulnerable and very frightened by their presence."
Park wardens later shot a coyote that might've been involved, and they've closed the trail to the public. Mitchell was an avid hiker/wilderness enthusiast who often took time out from her music career to visit wilderness areas.
No word yet on if this attack could've been perpetrated by a larger wolf/coyote hybrid, but if so, count me terrified.
Image Credit: emdot