Police are warning residents of a downtown Toronto neighbourhood to take precautions, after a large coyote was spotted Sunday night.

In a statement released Monday, police said they responded to a call about a coyote sighting in the Sackville Street and Carlton Street area shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday.

"Officers attended and located the coyote, but it ran off into the ravine near Wellesley Park," police said in a bulletin posted online.

As a result, people living in the area are advised to "use caution and never leave small children or pets unsupervised."

Other recommended precautions include:

  • not feeding pets outside
  • ensuring pets are either kept on leash or closely supervised when taken outside
  • securing household garbage, including using green bins instead of composters for food waste

In the event you spot the animal, police advise attempting to scare it away with loud noises and exaggerated gestures before contacting 51 Division at 416-808-5100 for assistance.

If the animal is not scared, police say you should retreat, slowly, without turning your back it.

According to Toronto Animal Services, coyotes are a normal part of the city's wildlife, but have been more active this year due to what had been, before Friday, a mild winter.