07/28/2014 04:39 EDT | Updated 09/27/2014 05:59 EDT

Rattlesnake warning: Kamloops north shore trails seeing high numbers

A higher volume than usual of rattlesnakes in certain parts of Kamloops, B.C., has prompted a warning for dog owners to be extra vigilant while walking the hills above the city's North Shore.

No reason for the sudden increase in sightings has been identified, says Frank Ritcey, the provincial coordinator of WildSafeBC, but he says people out walking their dogs should exercise extra care.

The areas owners may wish to avoid for the time being are around Tranquille Creek and the hills above Batchelor Heights, Ritcey says.

Rattlesnakes are generally non-threatening, he notes, but if a dog gets too close, the snake will attack. Last year, he says, a number of dogs died after being bitten.

Ricey says Kamloops South Shore is a safer area for dog walking at this time of year.

Google Maps: Batchelor Heights, Kamloops