The high pitched quick yip of a coyote has been bouncing off of our valley walls as the dusk approaches.
The small dog-like creatures have been in a high population in town limits lately, and a senior wildlife biologist from Alberta Environment and Parks says it has been like that for a while now.
"Coyotes are incredibly adaptable, they are our most numerous member of the dog family in Alberta. We have seen increased coyote presence in urban areas, in towns and in cities throughout Alberta over the last 10-15 years," explained Brett Boukall of Alberta Environment and Parks.
He went on to say that coyotes enjoy many of the same surroundings that humans do, such as green spaces and open yards. This is why they have learned to adapt to living in close proximity to urban life.
However, there are certain precautions that can be taken to keep the creatures away.
"A lot of it is just discouraging coyotes by cleaning up around our yards, maybe even going so far as putting in motion sensor lighting that is going to discourage the coyotes from wanting to keep hanging around our backyard," continued Boukall.
Another tip for dog owners is to keep dog feces to a minimum, as coyotes smell the scent and know that other animals are around.
"If you are walking your dog, try to keep it on leash. But coyotes, as we move more into winter are going to a bit hungrier. If they aren't able to get food naturally, they might view your pet as a really nice meal," concluded Boukall.