EDMONTON -- "Be big, loud, bold."

That is park ranger Gareth Villanueva's advice if you find yourself face-to-face with a coyote.

Coyote sightings within Edmonton's city limits are very common. They are scavengers and mainly eat small rodents like mice and rabbits. But they are also opportunistic and will eat easy-to-find food in garbages and composts.

"They're going where the food is," Villanueva said on CTV Morning Live Edmonton. "For the most part, coyotes want nothing to do with people."

Coyotes can show aggression towards dogs, both on and off-leash, and have been known to attack roaming cats.

Here's what you should do if you come across a coyote: 

  • Get big: Wave your arms, swing an object in their direction.
  • Get loud: Shout, clap your hands, blow a whistle.
  • Maintain eye contact: Back away and move towards buildings or other people.
  • Do not run: The prey drive could kick in and it may chase after you.

This information was shared at an event at the Castledowns Library on the weekend, co-hosted by Ward 3 City Councillor Jon Dziadyk.

In Edmonton, a coyote encounter or sighting can be reported to the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project, a partnership between the city and the University of Alberta. The reports are used to better understand interactions and will support coexistence.