There have been increased sightings of coyotes in Yellowknife recently according to the territory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR).

The department says coyote sightings aren’t uncommon in Yellowknife, but these types of increases are often caused by residents intentionally or unintentionally providing them with a food source.

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With food becoming more scarce for wild animals this time of year, animals like coyotes tend to become bolder and travel into more urban areas.

ENR officials are asking people to avoid leaving food sources like garbage cans or pet food outside for extended periods of time, and to keep them in secure containers to keep wild animals from moving into neighbourhoods.

“If you regularly see coyotes in your yard or neighborhood, there is likely a food source nearby,” read a statement issued by the department Thursday.

“Talk with your neighbors to recognize and remove food sources to reduce the potential of coyotes moving into your neighborhood.”

Small animals like cats, puppies and small dogs are easy prey for predators and should be kept inside or in a secure kennel if unattended.

Meanwhile, people with bird feeders are asked to clean up any seeds around them since they’ll attract both smaller and larger animals in search of food.

If you happen to come across a wild animal like a coyote, do not approach it.

Instead, you’re asked to report wildlife sightings to (867) 767-9238 ext. 53247 or call the territory’s wildlife emergency line at (867)-873-7181.