HALIFAX, N.S. - The mother of Taylor Mitchell, a young folksinger who was killed by coyotes in Nova Scotia, says her daughter was a passionate environmentalist who would have opposed the killing of the two animals responsible for the attack.
Emily Mitchell of Toronto issued a statement Thursday on the shocking death of her 19-year-old daughter in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
"When the decision had been made to kill the pack of coyotes, I clearly heard Taylor's voice say, 'Please don't, this is their space,"' Mitchell said.
"She wouldn't have wanted their demise, especially as a result of her own."
Mitchell said media accounts of her daughter's death noted that the young woman was hiking alone in the remote park Tuesday afternoon when she was mauled.
She described her daughter as "a seasoned naturalist" who was experienced at wilderness camping.
"She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity," Mitchell said. "Tragically, it was her time to be taken from us so soon."
Taylor Mitchell was on a tour of Atlantic Canada when she went for a hike on the park's popular Skyline Trail.
Two nearby hikers and a Parks Canada worker called 911 as Mitchell was being mauled and an RCMP officer arrived to shoot one of the animals, apparently wounding it. Both managed to flee.
Mitchell was bleeding heavily from multiple bite wounds when paramedics arrived. She died early the next day after being airlifted to hospital in Halifax.
Her mother expressed thanks for the outpouring of condolences from her daughter's friends and fans, and also thanked the hikers, police and doctors and nurses who tried to save her life.
She said details will be finalized in the coming days about a funeral service and concert in her daughter's memory.
"There are no words to describe my grief," Mitchell said in her release. "Taylor was my shining light, my baby, my confidante and best friend.
"My world is turned upside down and forever transformed without her. I don't know how to move forward from here but I know that she would want that for me and I will try to do that in her memory and celebrate her life in the way she lived it - with passion, commitment and an unbridled loving heart."
Armed Parks Canada officers continued to search Thursday for the coyotes responsible for the attack but an official said a widespread kill of animals wouldn't occur.