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Video: Woman and coyote face off on a Cape Cod beach

Marcy Sterlis swung a stick in an attempt to scare away a coyote that was following her on the beach on Thursday.Andrew DeCarton

A woman had a dramatic standoff with a coyote at a Cape Cod beach on Thursday - and a fisherman captured the tense moments on video.

Marcy Sterlis was out for a morning stroll at Race Point Beach when she noticed the brazen coyote standing only four or five feet away.

Sterlis works as an assistant principal of a middle school in Brooklyn, New York, but she’s no stranger to the Cape and its wildlife. “My parents live in Brewster,” she said, and just as a precaution, “I started carrying a stick with me last summer.”

It’s a good thing she did, because the coyote at Race Point kept coming at her. Even when she was screaming and swinging the stick around, the animal refused to leave and kept getting closer.

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“It was horrifying,” she said in a telephone interview with the Globe.

“The coyote was not responding to the things I was doing...the coyote actually seemed happy to have me cornered by the water,” she said.

Andrew DeCarton of Cumberland R.I. was on a boat when the encounter occurred and captured the tense moments on video.

Woman tries to chase coyote away on Cape Cod beach
Marcy Sterlis shook a stick at a coyote that was bothering her on a Cape Cod beach.

“We were fishing with a bunch of other boats at Race Point when I noticed something going on,” DeCarton said in a telephone interview with the Globe. “I took my binoculars out and saw a woman in distress. She was fighting off a coyote with a large stick.”

DeCaron watched Sterlis swing the stick as the coyote paced back and forth around her. In the video, DeCarton can be heard yelling to the woman as they approached the shore.

“Did he bite you? Are you all right?” DeCarton said.

“He won’t leave me alone!” she replied. “He won’t leave me alone!”

The coyote finally gave Sterlis some space when the captain of the boat, William Kelley, started making noise by slamming a paddle against the side of the boat.

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“I didn’t really didn’t think he was going to leave her alone any time soon,” said DeCarton. “She’d been there for about 10 minutes trying to fight this thing off.”

DeCarton said they picked her up and “tried to calm her down.”

Sterlis said the coyote was still on the beach when the boat approached her.

“When they asked me if I wanted to come on board, I said, ‘Yes, please!’” she said.

She said they tried to cheer her up and one of them joked that they caught a striper and a blonde.

Sterlis said she was also grateful that DeCarton had captured the standoff on video, so people can watch and be aware of the wildlife that’s out there on the beach.

“The fishermen were amazing,” she said.

Sterlis said she was thankful for their help, and glad she had been armed with the stick.

“If not, who knows what would have happened? she said.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.