[Five Deadly Everythings]

A wolf in coyote’s clothing

Posted in 8 million ways, beware of (blank) by Jef on March 18, 2010

“IN THE FALL OF 2009, Taylor Mitchell, a 19-year-old folksinger from To­ron­to, was touring the Maritime Provinces of eastern Canada in support of her critically acclaimed first album, For Your Consideration. With a free afternoon between gigs in Nova Scotia on October 27, she pulled into Cape Breton Highlands National Park and set out along the heavily visited Skyline Trail. The temperature was in the high thirties; birch and maple leaves would have crunched beneath her feet.”

Long story short, Mitchell was attacked on the trail by “eastern coyotes.” A pair of horrified  hikers successfully shooed the animals away but Mitchell died of her injuries.

What exactly are eastern coyotes and what makes them so ferocious, you ask? They are the little beasts that happen when, fascinatingly, wait for it, COYOTES AND WOLVES MATE, answers Outside magazine (photo via). And why are these hybrids referred to as coyotes instead of wolves, even though they seem to run in packs and hunt with wolfish flair? Public relations, it seems:

Quann uses the word pack warily, preferring the wonkier “cohesive family social group.” That’s because pack is associated with wolves, and wolves, as we know, can bring out the worst in people. But, yes, Quann says with a reluctant sigh, “it’s pretty well accepted these coyotes are wolf hybrids.”

I find it strange that the print version of this story features some awesome coyote photographs, whereas the only photo found in the online version is this outdoors troubadour shot of Mitchell, made more creepy by the fact that “within minutes of the shutter click,” the deadly wolf-yote attack ensued.

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