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Woman uses stick to fend off coyote chasing her

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 10:03 AM CDT
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PROVINCETOWN, Mass. (WBZ) - A peaceful walk along sand dunes in Cape Cod, Massachusetts is now a terrifying memory for one woman after a coyote followed her and wouldn’t leave.

She was frantically warding it off with a stick when two boaters saved her.

“I was thinking I don’t want to get bit by a coyote.” Marcy Sterlis said.

The coyote chased her from the dunes, down to the water’s edge.

“I was assuming it would react and leave. And it didn’t,” Sterlis said. “And it totally caught me off guard. And it kept coming towards me.”

Two fishermen, who caught the incident on video, heard Sterlis yelling. So, they inched their boat up to the sand to giver her an escape route.

“I knew we had to get her out of there. We had to do something. No one else was,” Bill Kelley, one of the fishermen on the boat, said.

Sterlis scrambled into the boat and they took her to safety.

“I was terrified,” she said. “And if it weren’t for the two fishermen coming to get me, I don’t know what I would have done, because they were the only ones there to help me.”

Last summer, a coyote bit someone at a beach nearby and killed a dog.

“The cape provides great coyote habitat,” Dave Wattles, with the Massachusetts Fish and Game, said.

Wildlife experts believe it was because people were feeding coyotes and one that went after Sterlis may have been looking for a handout.

“That animal wasn’t responding, so that’s what made me think that it has been fed by people,” Wattles said. “And it’s comfortable approaching people, and maybe that’s what’s happening there.”

Experts say to never turn your back on a coyote if you see one. They suggest making loud noises and trying to make yourself seem big.

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