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.