Coyotes are no strangers to Humboldt and the surrounding communities. Towns border on aspen stands, wildlife preserves and open area which are natural habitats for an increasing coyote population. 

In the winter months, coyotes skirt the communities in search of prey and occasionally venture into towns and yards. Travis Williams, a wildlife allocation specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, cautions folks against ever approaching the wild animals.

"If someone does encounter an animal that's being aggressive or looks sick in some way, contact your local Ministry Environment Office, or you could report it to the turn-in poachers and polluters line by calling 1-800-667-7561," said Williams.

Folks should stay calm, maintain a safe amount of distance, and make noise to ward them off. Additionally, it is unwise to leave out any food or water for coyotes. They are wild animals and must be treated as such, no matter how much they resemble domestic dogs. 

While most of them will be happy to keep their distance, they should still be treated with respect and caution when it comes to interacting with pets. 

"They're opportunity feeders, and urban areas can be attractive for coyotes because of the variety of food sources that are provided to them in communities both directly and indirectly," said Williams.

Once the weather eases into spring and summer conditions, most coyotes will return to the open prairies and resume their regular habits. 

"Coyotes and other wildlife are part of the natural landscape of Saskatchewan and should be given space and respect where they can be," noted Williams. 

If anyone is bitten during an interaction with a coyote or any wild animal, they should immediately seek medical help. Infectious diseases are always a possibility when an animal bites. 

(with files from Discover Humboldt)