Toronto singer killed by coyotes

Cape Breton Highland National Park in Nova Scotia was site of the attack-

I’ve got to wonder if there weren’t really coywolves. On the other hand, there have been sporadic (non-fatal) attacks by coyotes on people in Yellowstone Park where it is just the original western coyote and occasional fatalities in other places.

Singer killed by two coyotes. The Star.





  1. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    Very sad, such a young and talented woman. I hike alone, with a knife, walking stick and a big dog. And I will continue to do so….if I die by an animal while hiking or camping, better than getting shot or raped and shot by some 2 legged nut case!

  2. ID_Paul Avatar

    A sad and strange event.

    Anybody have any data about effectiveness of pepper spray against attacks by canids?

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Pepper spray is often sold to joggers, walkers, bikees, etc. It works. The can of spray does not look like the grizzly bear pepper spray.

  4. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    Well, I used pepper spray on a rottie that was running to attack my dog, stopped it in it’s tracks and it ran back to the owner. Owner was not happy, but he should have had his dog under control and on a leash ! do not know what it would do with more than 1 animal…

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It is ironic that there was the quote in the story (AP version) “It’s very unusual and is not likely to be repeated,” Bancroft said. “We shouldn’t assume that coyotes are suddenly going to become the big bad wolf.”

    The big bad wolf is the only large animal in North America that hasn’t killed anyone in the last several years, except maybe the young guy near the mining camp (Kenton Carnegie)

  6. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    Coyotes are opportunists. I watched a pair of them harrass and repeatedly bite an injured wolf in Yellowstone. I wouldn’t turn my back on two or more of them. They are more dangerous than any wolf.

  7. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Being honest with you all, I am not surprised, coyotes are just as dangerous as any other wild animal..I have seen them time and time again, be vicious and ruthless in their quest for food…when people respect wild animals they will be much better off, these are not pets, they are wild animals, they have two functions in life, eating and procreating..they are not here for our amusement, adulation or our love…

  8. JB Avatar

    “They are more dangerous than any wolf.”

    Really? I suppose that depends on how you define dangerous. While there are a few coyote attacks every year, there are tens of thousands of coyotes in the US. They even live in downtown Chicago, mostly without incident.

  9. mikepost Avatar

    This is only the second human death associated with coyotes in North America but I am not surpised. The first was a 2 year old girl in Glendale, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles, in 1982. The fact that this was an adult victim is one indicator that the eastern coyote is a vastly different animal. It is one thing to shake a 2 year old by the neck and yet quite another to bring down an adult.

    The wolf fallout will be significant.

  10. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    A coyote is something I would normally not fear. I once had one follow me and my family while I was cross country skiing in Yellowstone and didn’t think anything of it. However, I think coyotes will be more likely to attack people than wolves because there are more of them and there are plenty of urban coyotes getting habituated to people.

  11. ID_Paul Avatar

    Thanks for the input on pepper spray. I wonder if she would have had opportunity to use it…. those dogs are fast.

  12. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    You probably would have to use pepper spray quickly. It is potent from a distance though. In college I was working several yards downwind of a class that was spraying it (for whatever reason). It hurts even from a distance so couldn’t imagine it point blank.

  13. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Actually, I would rather be sprayed at close distance than allow the pepper to spread out and dissipate, once it becomes atomized, it is really uncomfortable, not that I would choose either, but give me the liquid over the mist! Once it breaks up and becomes a mist, watch out…it is nasty…

  14. jerryB Avatar

    A question for you bear spray experts………….any idea if there is a temp below which the spray is rendered ineffective, meaning can it actually freeze in the cannister?

    I’m in bear country at least 3 times a week and I always carry spray even though it’s usually black bears I’m around. Today I was between 2 packs at a good distance (3 in one and 4 in the other) of coyotes. Never even considered I’d ever have to use spray on them…my experience has always been that they fear humans…..then I read the above comments…YIKES!!!

  15. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Jerry all of the EPA approved and registered bear sprays will work at below zero temps, albeit, they may spray a shorter distance, but currently all of the EPA registered sprays are formulated from oils and there is nothing in them that will freeze solid in extreme temps.

  16. Elk275 Avatar

    Remember that this incident happens in Canada and I believe that there are different rules with pepper spray in Canada. One must use spray that is approved by the Canadain government. I do know of several incidences that people have had there pepper taken by Canadian Customs. I can not believe that one would even think of carrying pepper/bear spray in Nova Scotia.

    I love to Travel. Chile is my favorite place, but the dogs sometimes out number the people and can be very threatening. I always carry a small can of bear spray not pepper spray it is easier to explain — pora perro loco

  17. jerryB Avatar

    Thanks SB….gets pretty cold in some of the areas where I hunt for moose poop.

  18. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    All of the US EPA bear sprays are approved by Health Canada and can be carried in Canada, regular pepper sprays however are not approved and cannot be possessed in Canada, but if it is labeled dog spray and you purchase in Canada, it is legal..personal protection and law enforcement sprays cannot.

    Last time, I hunted deer in Nova Scotia we carried Bear Spray, due to the large population of baited black bears..

    What is a small can of bear spray? based on EPA guidelines, to be called “Bear Spray” and sold as bear spray, it has to be a minimum size as well as have and EPA registration number

  19. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    “Hunt for Moose Poop”? Your not the one that makes paper are you?

  20. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    I know a guy that uses bison plop to make paper…

  21. Jon Way Avatar

    these would more appropriately be coywolves that did the attack. They are still called coyotes however throughout the NE North America area (SE Canada and NE US). That should be changing soon…

  22. jerryB Avatar

    Save Bears…..I sell it as incense.

  23. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    I hiked in that area this time last fall, though not that particular trail. We didn’t see/hear any coyotes, but am not surprised they are there. It is very remote and very wild, even though there’s a road that runs around the island and it’s a national park that gets a lot of visitors. The trails are generally short and mostly keep to the fringes along the coast. We were more worried about happening on a moose around the many blind corners on the walks we did, and we saw several of them (huge), from our car, on our last day on Cape Breton Island. How very sad for this young woman, her family, and her fans…

  24. Matt Avatar

    This is tragic news, they must of been large coyote / coy dogs, they do get big in the east, you would think a grown woman could fight off a few avergae sixed coyotes. They must of been large and got her on the ground.

  25. April Clauson Avatar
    April Clauson

    Not surprised on the article regarding CA Coyotes, when I lived in Big Bear in CA I got in a debate with a neighbor that was feeding a coyote in the neighbor hood. Coyotes would just lay in the middle of the street and not move when cars came, because the cars would go around them. I love wild life but I know better than to have coyotes habituated. The neighbor stopped feeding the coyote when his chicken that he let roam loose in the neighbor hood was snatched off my front porch by a coyote, the chicken used to roost under the table on my porch. I tried to chase the coyote down, my neighbors had a good laugh on that one, snow on the ground, me in a pink bath rob and slippers chasing the coyote with a broom down the street yelling “drop it!” man I just was trying to save the chicken….folks in CA are so unaware sometimes of what feeding and not chasing coyotes off can do. and many small dogs and cats weekly are killed by coyotes up in Big Bear.

  26. mikepost Avatar

    In an urban context, which characterizes almost 100% of the coyote attacks on humans, there is almost always a detectable linkage to habituation thru feeding. The Glendale 2 year old death was such a classic case. Finding out about this cases background will be of great interest. If such a linkage cannot be found, that certainly raises some questions.

  27. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    The closest town to where this happened is Cheticamp, maybe 10 miles as the crow flies. It’s not exactly an urban metropolis. As I said, this is a very remote place, especially by east-coast standards…

  28. Chris H Avatar
    Chris H

    What a shame. she seemed to be on her way to a promising life.
    I know she was hiking alone and that attacks can occur for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless does anyone know any details other than she was attacked.?

  29. jerryB Avatar

    “Hikers witnessed the attack”
    Sounds like another case of people “afraid to get involved”
    What’s that about??…..Like the girl that was just raped and mugged at the school dance in California while the crowd stood around and watched.
    I’m baffled by the videos taken of people being beaten, robbed and killed and the photographer, instead of helping the victim, is taking friggin pictures.

  30. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    From the article, “It is ‘not expected or normal behavior,’ he said, although he said there had been aggressive incidents in Nova Scotia before, but no deaths.”

    It might be expected and normal behavior by people not to help, however.

  31. nabeki Avatar

    Well Wildlife Services killed 696,936 coyotes between 2004-2008, so there can’t be that many of them .

    I do remember once, about twenty years ago, coyotes got into the Flamingo pen at the LA Zoo and killed most of them. I actually have a a video of the birds taken the day before the coyotes took them out. Weird.

  32. Jon Way Avatar

    From what I have read thus far the authorities up there have done a great job considering the awful news. They aren’t calling for hysteria, are only looking for the culprit ‘coyotes’ (really coywolves) to kill, and are saying all the right things about their normal behavior and how unusual this was. Compare that to many of the articles on wolves in the Rockies with Joe-shmow saying something stupid having no stats or logic to back him up…
    It is what it is, a tragedy but not a cause for panic.

  33. josh sutherland Avatar
    josh sutherland

    nabeki Says:
    October 29, 2009 at 9:40 PM
    Well Wildlife Services killed 696,936 coyotes between 2004-2008, so there can’t be that many of them .

    There are hundreds of thousands of coyotes in the US.

  34. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    If not Millions….coyotes are one of the most prolific in the animal kingdom…


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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