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article imagePathologists confirm killer coyote 'in good health'

By Ken Wightman     Nov 3, 2009 in Environment
Preliminary tests reveal the coyote destroyed after participating in the fatal attack of a hiker on the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton was a healthy adult female and not suffering from a lack of food.
Parks Canada says the coyote that was tracked and killed, after fatally mauling Toronto folksinger Taylor Mitchell, was neither diseased nor hungry.
Preliminary results of tests run by the Atlantic Veterinary Centre reveal the aggressive animal was a 14-kilogram (31 pound) adult female coyote in good health with food still in its belly. The animal showed no signs of disease; or any evidence of rabies.
The tests confirmed this was definitely one of the two coyotes involved in the fatal mauling a 19-year-old woman attacked while hiking in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Mitchell died after being airlifted to a Halifax hospital.
While the search continues for the second coyote, the Skyline Trail remains closed and wildlife safety advisories have been posted around the park.
Why the pair of coyotes attacked the young woman is still an open question.
An article in the Truro Daily News less than a month ago, just weeks before the fatal attack, quoted Truro area farmer Maggie Perry as saying, “We’ve had problems in the past (with coyotes) but this year is an exceptional year.” She estimated that this summer coyotes killed 27 lambs or more on the family's 300-acre spread, reducing her flock by a third.
Walking through the family fields often gives Perry an eerie feeling. “I can feel sometimes something is watching me.” she told the paper.
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