07/19/2012 11:53 EDT | Updated 09/18/2012 05:12 EDT

Toronto urges residents to report coyote sightings

The city is urging Toronto residents to be wary of coyotes, after one of the wild canines interrupted a quiet evening for a Riverdale resident.

Bruce Walsh says he was practising yoga in Riverdale Park East last Wednesday when a coyote charged at him three times.

"I saw something coming towards me from this direction here and … I realized that it was a coyote and it was coming very fast right at me," he said.

Walsh said attempts to scare the coyote off didn't work.

"When he came back the third time I thought, wow, I could be in trouble here," he said.

The coyote eventually retreated but Walsh says he was rattled. When he spoke to his neighbours, he realized the sighting in the park wasn't unusual.

Toronto Animal Services estimates there is one coyote per 13 square kilometres and says so far this year there have been 100 recorded sightings.

Parks made an attractive habitat for coyotes, snacking on rodents. Small pets are a potential snack, as well, and they can be dangerous to people.

In January, a coyote was shot after an eight-year-old girl in Oakville was bitten.

Mary Lou Leiher with Toronto Animal Services said sometimes coyotes become more socialized to humans after people feed them.

"We suspect that when they approach people more closely than what we're comfortable with it's because they're looking for you to give it food."

Leiher said being as big as possible, making loud noises and making charging motions are all good actions to take against a coyote.

The city urges people to call in sightings, particularly if the animal is aggressive.