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The Hits Keep Coming: Now P-town Has a Coyote Problem?

A woman wave stick at coyote on P-town beach

There's little that vacation destinations like less than bad press. Even a negative rumor about a place not being entirely safe can put a chill on the hottest summertime haunt. After the the financial impact of 2020's lockdowns no tourist destination can afford to have travelers shy away. That's why Massachusett's queer Mecca, Provincetown has been eager to reassure travelers after the city's recent delta outbreak, that the vacation spot is safe again.

As Alex Morse, the town manager just told my colleague John Casey, "There are so many irrational and unfounded fears right now about P-town because of all the news, which is understandable, but the bottom line is that this community is probably, at this point, one of the safest there is. This should be the message going forward for anyone who has plans to visit, or wants to visit us in the future.”

Now would not be a good time for another unrelated fear-inducing media story to drop about Provincetown. But coyotes are known for their comic timing, their cosmic, mythic trickster energy. So, on cue, we give you the big bad coyote.

As Inside Edition and Boston's CBS news are reporting, a coyote chased a woman from the Race Point Dunes to the seashore. 

“I was assuming it would react and leave, and it didn’t. And it totally caught me off guard, and it kept coming towards me,” Marcy Sterlis told press. She'd picked up a stick and was waving it and screaming at the coyote. Although that didn't dissuade the coyote, it did draw the attention of two nearby fishermen, who captured the scene on video, and then came to her aid. 

 

 

The fishermen angled their boat to give her an escape route. “I was terrified, and if it weren’t for 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,” Sterlis said.

If that wasn't bad enough for P-town tourism, the news reports are recalling that last year, a coyote bit a beach goer and reportedly killed a dog in the same region. Negative interactions with wildlife are increasing across the country due to human encroachment on wild areas, and the impact of the climate crisis on wild animals. When people feed wild animals like coyotes, they can lose their natural fear of humans and associate humans with food. 

“That animal wasn't responding, so that’s what made me think it has been fed by people. And it’s comfortable approaching people and maybe that’s what’s happening there,” Dave Wattles of Massachusetts Fish and Game told CBS.

When confronted by a coyote, don’t turn your back on it. Instead make yourself as big and loud as possible to scare it away. Consider any wild animal that approaches you dangerous. 

With the confluence of c-word calamities, one has to wonder what will next befall the embattled Cape Cod. Cranky crabs? Cannibalistic covens? 

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