Coyotes kill woman hiking in Eeastern Canada park

Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:45pm EDT
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - A 19-year-old woman died on Wednesday after being attacked by two coyotes while she was hiking in a park in Eastern Canada, police said.

Taylor Mitchell, a singer and songwriter from Toronto, was walking alone in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia on Tuesday when she was attacked by the small, wolf-like animals.

Other hikers tried to scare off the coyotes, described by police as "extremely aggressive", and phoned for help. Mitchell later died of her injuries in hospital.

Attacks by coyotes on humans are very rare, although they are known to take down sick and weakened deer in winter.

The eastern coyote that lives in the Cape Breton park has interbred with wolves and is somewhat larger than its western ancestors, which typically weigh between 7 and 23 kilograms (15-50 pounds).

Park rangers were able to locate one of the coyotes and kill it, Parks Canada spokeswoman Germaine Lemoine said. Rangers were still looking for the other animal.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Rob Wilson)