A woman from New York City was in Cape Cod last week, just looking to relax and unwind at the beach. But instead she wound up having to defend herself from an attacking coyote with nothing but a stick.
According to Boston 25 News, Marcy Sterlis is an assistant principal at an NYC school and was looking for a nice little get-away before school reconvenes for the year, so she took a trip to Race Point beach near Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Early last Thursday morning she decided to take a stroll down the Cape Cod National Seashore by herself, hoping to see some sea turtles or crabs before the beach got too crowded. Instead she was antagonized by a wild coyote for more than 10 minutes.
The song dog gave her quite the scare and acted aggressive, but luckily never attacked. Tried as she may to ward off the coyote, it didn’t stop bothering her until a group of fisherman showed up to help.
“I sat down to put my sneakers back on and as I was getting up, I look over and this coyote was four or five feet from me. It was a little too curious because it wasn’t responding to my screams to get away from me or shaking at the stick.
It was like up to a foot at some point like it was, and it just kept coming at me, and I could not get it. I was screaming at it. The only thing that did work was when I lunged. My voice is still really hoarse from screaming so much.”
Knowing that coyotes are pack animals, she said she began to get nervous that more of them could be around. She began to back up into the water hoping that the coyote would be hesitant to enter the ocean but the animal continued to harass her.
As she pulled out her cell phone out to call 911, her boyfriend actually wound up calling at the exact same time.
“Right at the time that I went to grab my cell phone to call 911 because everything else wasn’t working, my boyfriend called.
I said I need you to look up online what to do about a coyote,’ and he was like, okay, but I’m on my way to work.”
Several witnesses said they saw the situation unfolding, but merely thought the scene was just a lady playing with her dog.
Finally two fishermen, Andrew DeCarton and William Kelley, who were on a nearby by boat pulled out a pair of binoculars and realized that it wasn’t a dog and the lady wasn’t playing.
When they got closer they could hear that Sterlis was under duress as she shouted for help and pleaded with the coyote to get away and leave her alone. As they pulled up closer to the shore they began banging an ore on the side of their boat and shouting at the coyote and it eventually ran away.
The two fishermen picked up the startled Sterlis and gave her a ride back to her car.
Sterlis said the first time she watched video footage of the encounter, she immediately recounted how terrifying the situation was.
“The off-road vehicle office was open, and I went in there and told the guy what happened, and I said, ‘Let me show you the video,’ and it was the first time I watched it since it happened.
I just broke down in tears because I was so scared.”
Coincidentally enough, she apparently started carrying a stick with her on her walks for just such an occasion. Because she sees coyote tracks on the beach so frequently, she started walking with a stick last year, but never actually expected to have to use it.
When asked if she ever planned on visiting the area again after the terrifying incident, she didn’t hesitate with her answer.
“Of course, because I love the National Seashore.”