Cougar Sighting Leads to Temporary Closure of Oregon Beach
An Oregon beach was temporarily closed due to an unusual sighting of a cougar on the iconic Haystack Rock. The mountain lion was spotted on the morning of a recent Sunday, leading to authorities blocking off a section of the beach and surrounding dunes to allow the cougar a safe path back to its natural habitat.
Cougar's Unusual Visit to Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock, a popular location for seabird watching on the coast in Cannon Beach, witnessed an unexpected visitor. The cougar is believed to have climbed the rock during low tide and became stranded as the water rose. "While the forested areas along the coast are prime habitat for cougars, it is unusual that a cougar made its way on to Haystack Rock," said ODFW District Wildlife Biologist Paul Atwood. Cougars mainly feed on deer, but they also consume elk, other mammals, and birds, which could explain its presence on the rock known for its nesting seabirds.
Authorities' Response and Beach Reopening
Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife returned to the area the following day and confirmed that the cougar had left the rock, leaving tracks leading away from the area. Consequently, the beach was reopened to the public.
Haystack Rock: A Protected Wildlife Refuge
Haystack Rock is a designated wilderness area protected as part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It is iconic among birdwatchers for its nesting seabirds, including tufted puffins. The unusual sighting of the cougar on this landmark rock underscores the diverse wildlife that can be encountered in this region.