A coyote found its way inside a downtown Winnipeg parkade on Monday, shocking people who work and park their vehicles in the area, as well as catching police and conservation officers off guard.

The coyote was spotted inside the parkade on Portage Avenue, between Albert and Main streets, shortly after the lunch hour.

Parkade attendant Hailo Abebe said he has never seen anything like it in his seven years on the job.

"It was shocking," Abebe told CBC News.

"It's kind of strange, you know, [for] these things — in the middle of the city — to happen."

Winnipeg police and Manitoba Conservation officers rushed to the parkade, where they fired a tranquilizer dart at the coyote.

The tranquilized coyote was seen hiding under a truck as officers poked at it with a stick.

The coyote was then transported outside the city to Beaudry Park, where it will be released.

"It's a good end to a tough day for the coyote," Joe Johannesson, a district supervisor with Manitoba Conservation, told reporters.

Johannesson said it's not clear how the animal ended up inside the downtown parkade, but it may have travelled along one of the rivers to the city.

"The river's close by, so the coyote may have been moving up the river and it ended up going through the streets of Winnipeg and ending up here, in a parkade, which is not a very good spot," he said.

Coyote sightings are rare in Winnipeg, but they're not unheard of — the last coyote call in the city came two years ago.