Cape Breton coyote attack kills touring folk singer
Published Wednesday, October 28, 2009 6:31PM EDT
A 19-year-old folk singer who died after being mauled by coyotes on Cape Breton Island had just earned the right to drive and was starting a concert tour of the east coast, her manager says.
Toronto native Taylor Mitchell was taken to hospital in Sydney, N.S., on Tuesday, following the coyote attack. She was later airlifted to a Halifax-area hospital but succumbed to "serious injuries" overnight, according to RCMP.
"She had just gotten her licence and her first set of wheels to take her on the road to the Maritimes," her manager Lisa Weitz said in an email to CTV.ca. "Her excitement was contagious and positively palpable."
Mitchell had been hiking alone in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia when the animals attacked her.
"This (was) a very severe attack, we hadn't seen anything like this in this national park ever," Parks Canada Warden Derek Quann told CTV Atlantic.
Emergency officials received a call at around 3:15 p.m. about a hiker being mauled on the popular Skyline Trail. A nearby hiker heard the woman's cries and called 911, police said.
RCMP Sgt. Brigdit Leger said police rushed to help the woman and had to shoot a coyote that was acting aggressively. Both coyotes then fled into the woods.
"Words can't begin to express the sadness and tragedy of losing such a sweet, compassionate, vibrant, and phenomenally talented young woman," Weitz said. "She just turned 19 two months ago, and was so excited about the future."
Mitchell was recently nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for Young Performer of the Year. Her independently released album, "For Your Consideration," was released earlier this year.
Mitchell was on a three-week tour of the East Coast, on a trip that was supposed to mix business and pleasure.
"It's my first East Coast tour, and I'm loving it so far," she told fans in a Myspace video.
RCMP have closed off the hiking trail. One of the animals was shot dead by RCMP late Tuesday, and armed conservation officers are on the hunt for the other coyote.