Authorities are warning residents to keep a watchful eye out for coyotes after an increasing number of the animals have been seen in parks and pathways in the City of Calgary.

Experts say coyotes are generally more aggressive around this time of year and can pose a danger to people and pets.

A number of areas have already been blocked off because of coyote activity.

Right now, coyotes are looking for good places to set up a den, so they are more protective of territory and can also be much more confrontational.

Coyotes are also being lured closer to residential areas by the smell of food as people start to cook outside more often and leave garbage out.

Officials say there haven’t been any serious incidents so far, but they want to make sure people are aware of the issue before something happens.

One man was biking with his daughter on the pathway in Panorama Hills when spotted a coyote.

“Last weekend, we were just biking down the ridge and a coyote was just sitting down on the pathway next to the ridge and we just passed by. It was okay, but it was too close for comfort,” said Tarvinder Bajwa.

Tanya Hope, an ecologist with Calgary Parks, says the animals can be fiercely territorial at this time of year, but with good reason.

“If the den is close to the pathway, the coyote can be very aggressive in trying to get everything away from it including humans. So they’ll do posturing, moving towards you and even nipping just to get you out of the area. They just want the space for their babies.”

Bajwa says the city has put a sign up to warn others about the danger and he is glad for that.

“It’s too bad that the pathway is closed, but hopefully it can be sorted out soon.”