More coyotes killed after fatal mauling in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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CHETICAMP - Another two coyotes have been killed in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, including one believed to be involved in the mauling death of a young woman last week.
Chip Bird of Parks Canada said Thursday the two adult males were shot by park officers Wednesday.
It's believed one of the animals was responsible for killing Toronto folksinger Taylor Mitchell, 19, on the Skyline Trail on Oct. 27.
"We're confident one of the animals we shot was the second animal we were looking for," Bird said.
He said that assessment was made by the park warden's physical inspection of the coyote, its aggressive behaviour, and from eyewitness accounts of the attack on Mitchell.
Bird said there was no indication so far that the animal was diseased.
Another healthy adult female coyote believed involved in the fatal attack was killed by RCMP shortly after police responded to a 911 call on the trail, which is located outside Cheticamp.
As was the case with the first coyote killed, the two male coyotes were sent to the Canadian Centre for Wildlife Health at the University of Prince Edward Island for a necropsy and additional disease testing.
Bird said park staff will continue to observe the trails for coyotes to make "absolutely certain" it's safe for people to use the Skyline Trail, which is the most popular hike in the national park with 25,000 visitors a year.
"Once we're assured that the situation is returned to normal, the trail will reopen," he said, adding staff meets daily and could consider the trail safe enough to be reopened by this weekend.
"Public safety is paramount for us, so anything we need to do to ensure that, we will do."
Signs in the park cautioning hikers to be wary of moose and bears will soon include a warning about coyotes.
Mitchell was hiking the Skyline Trail during a break in her solo tour when she was attacked. She died the following morning at a Halifax hospital.
A funeral for Mitchell was held in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday.

Organizations: Parks Canada, RCMP, Canadian Centre University of Prince Edward Island Halifax hospital

Geographic location: Cape Breton Highlands National Park, CHETICAMP, Toronto Mississauga

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Recent comments

  • flogger
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    They're everywhere!

  • Sam
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I think I saw the same one a few days ago Jon. We live in the area and I saw it our neighbours back yard - it's huge!

  • Me
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I saw one in Millbrook, crossed the road around Avery's

  • Jon
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    I came across a big (read: BIG) one just past the old landfill at the top Young St. last night. It jumped out in front of the car to cross the road and trotted alongside. I swung the headlights onto it and it took off like a bullet. In comparison to the one I saw while hiking a few weeks ago, this one was huge.