CORTE MADERA (KCBS) – Most Bay Area drivers have seen their share of “deer crossing” and “cattle crossing” signs, even in municipalities big enough to be considered cities. Corte Madera has outdone them all with a sign warning drivers to be aware of otters.
A pair of new yellow warning signs along Lucky Drive alerts drivers to the possibility of otters crossing near the High Canal entrance.
“They’re attracted to the estuary of Corte Madera Creek because it has a lot of fish in it. And we see them in San Anselmo and then down around Larkspur and Corte Madera,” said Sandy Guldman, president of Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.
Guldman said the furry creatures also like the high canals, and will resort to talking the street if the gates to the canals have been closed.
“The only way they can get up into the lagoons is to climb up the bank and cross the road, and they’re very difficult to see,” she said.
“So if they’re doing this at night, it’s a real challenge for drivers to see them.”
In fact, most people don’t even consider the possibility of otters in our midst.
“Most people don’t realize they’re around. Unless you actually live right on the water, you wouldn’t think of an otter being around,” Guldman said.
Two otters run over by cars in 2011 spurred Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed to raise the $300 needed to install the one-of-a-kind signs. And the group quickly realized they could turn out to be a collector’s item.
“I’ve been told a by a student at a local college that every dorm room has some kind of lifted street sign,” she laughed.
“So it’s nice that we have enough money to buy a couple of replacements if they do get stolen.”
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