Oregon beach closed when cougar climbs landmark rock

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July 18 (UPI) -- A section of an Oregon Beach was temporarily closed when a cougar climbed a landmark rock in an apparent hunt for seabirds.

The mountain lion was spotted Sunday morning on Haystack Rock, an iconic location for seabird watching on the coast in Cannon Beach.


The animal was believed to have climbed the rock during low tide and became stranded when the water rose.

Authorities blocked off a section of beach and the surrounding dunes to give the cougar a path back to its usual habitat.

"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," ODFW District Wildlife Biologist Paul Atwood told KGW-TV. "Their primary food source is deer, but they will also consume elk, other mammals and birds."

Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife returned to the area Monday and confirmed the predator was no longer on the rock and had left tracks leading away from the area. The beach was reopened to the public.

Haystack Rock, a designated wilderness area protected as part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, is iconic among birdwatchers for its nesting seabirds, including tufted puffins.


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