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Mountain Lion Spotted in Reservoir on Edgewood

Resident says she saw the large cougar in the center of the dry Mill Valley Reservoir Wednesday evening while she was walking her dog.

Kathy Fitzgerald was walking her dog in the area of the Mill Valley Reservoir when she spotted something not incredibly uncommon but jaw-dropping nonetheless: a large mountain lion.

According to her husband Paul Fitzgerald, she spotted the cougar about 50 yards away, right in the middle of the dry reservoir, at 7:40 p.m. Wednesday evening.

"It was a large cougar with a long, thick tail that stared directly at her for awhile, but was otherwise not threatening," Fitzgerald said. "Kathy held back our bite-size dog and puffed up her jacket. Then the mountain lion walked away from her and up the steep slope towards Sunnycrest Avenue."

Fitzgerald acknowledges that mountain lion sightings in the area are not unheard of but certainly worth noting. "It's good for everyone to know about this in order to take reasonable precautions in our beautiful urban-wildlife interface."

"Charismatic, powerful, elusive and sometimes dangerous, mountain lions capture our attention, provoke our imagination and inspire our fear and respect perhaps more than any other species in California," wrote Christopher Papouchis, an adjunct professor of natural resources at American River College, in the Marin IJ.

Mill Valley Reservoir is located at Edgewood and Sunnycrest avenues and supplied the town with water from 1904 to 1967, when it was taken out of commission.

Jack July 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Um, what are the tips?
ira steinman July 15, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I saw a cougar at dawn in my garden on July 4th. I was checking the watering system, then started pruning some roses. I had a sense that there was something behind me, whirled around and saw the hindquarters and eighteen inch long tail of a cougar as it sprinted away. Coloration was a darker grey, not the usual tawny color. It may have come in for a drink from one of my fountains. My fenced garden is about 250 yards from the week later sighting at the Edgewood reservoir, above the old Flying Y ranch. ira
liana forest July 19, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I had a close encounter on the hills of the beautiful Dias Trail. My husband Roy and I have hiked there previously, always running into other hikers and mountain bickers. But on a warm Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 3 '12, I hiked alone for about an hour to the highest point. Rather than descending down to Muir Beach I headed back along the meandering trail. And there it was, just ahead of me on the trail, walking slowly and leisurely. I had seen bobcats and coyotes on my previous hikes but never the human size cat or this close. I didn't want to lose sight of it so I kept following at close proximity. Several times it stopped, turned its head to look at me (I stopped too), then kept walking. It did not exhibit any aggression so I felt no immediate need to defend myself. But my heart was beating fast my mind on high alert. The cat continued its stroll but kept looking back at me, probably not thrilled with my following. Finally it stopped again, moved slightly to the right of the trail and sat down on its hind legs. I gazed all around me, at the hills, the trails in the distance, hoping to see bicyclists or other hikers but there was not a soul anywhere. So I proceeded slowly towards the cat, maintaining eye contact. It sat very still and let me pass, its yellowish brown eyes calmly watching me. I continued on the trail, hardly breathing, and glancing over my right shoulder every few seconds. Five minutes later, back at the house I promised myself (and Roy) not to hike alone again.
Suki Hill July 19, 2012 at 11:17 PM
You are a brave and smart lady! Well done, and thank you for telling the story.
Ryan April 21, 2013 at 08:11 PM
They're crepuscular

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