Meet The Beach Bunnies Of Coastal Oregon

Thu, Apr 20, 2023 at 5:00PM

Meet The Beach Bunnies Of Coastal Oregon

Springtime evokes imagery of bright, sunny landscapes and adorable animals like chicks and baby bunnies. While we typically think of bunnies as the Easter mascot, however, there’s a very real place where bunnies abound in cartoonlike fashion — even now that the holiday is over.

Cannon Beach, Oregon’s unique coastline makes it a popular spot for Pacific Northwest sport boats to visit. But if you spend some time on shore, you may notice an abundance of bunnies hanging out on the grounds — more than you would expect for a residential area. As it turns out, there’s an interesting story behind the local bunnies and how residents feel about them today. Just read on to learn more! 

Accidental Neighbors

It’s no surprise that bunnies exist in the wild — but the concentration of the fluffy hoppers in Cannon Beach might make you scratch your head. Here’s how it happened: according to the Cannon Beach History Museum, it all started back in the 1980s, when a local family released pet bunnies they could no longer care for into the wild. This was the first spark in the local bunny population boom, and other families eventually contributed by releasing their own bunnies. It even served as a draw for tourists, the Museum pointed out in an Instagram post.

Of course, as boaters and outdoor lovers, we know the importance of not introducing animals to the wild population — as it can disturb the natural environment. (It’s the same reason boaters are instructed to rinse their boat clean while hopping between bodies of water — you don’t want any critters to tag along!) And as you’re about to see, locals to this day don’t know what to do about the outsized bunny population four decades later.

A Critter Conundrum

As Oregon Public Broadcasting reports, some locals like to see the bunnies as pets — others say the animals damage their landscape. The issue has been discussed at city council meetings, too, with locals debating on how to best prevent the population from growing. There’s even a local bunny rescue dedicated to education and adoption to mitigate growth while still caring for the bunnies who already call the area “home.”

Cruising Cannon Beach

So it’s clear that the Cannon Beach bunny reputation is a little more complicated than, say, that of your local Easter Bunny. Fortunately, as a visitor, you don’t have to join the debate — but you can help protect the natural environment like you would with any wild animal. Avoid feeding or handling any bunnies you may come across, but feel free to snap a photo as you enjoy your travels!

Speaking of which, there’s a lot to explore in Cannon Beach — on and off the water. The most notable landmark is Haystack Rock on the water, which provides a beautiful backdrop to family photos during your beach picnic or coastal hike! It’s actually one of the largest rocks of its kind in the world, and plays host to a variety of wildlife — including puffins and tide pool critters like starfish and crabs, making it a nature enthusiast’s dream destination.

You can hop aboard a kayak and get close to the water, or board your Monterey for a day of offshore fun — and fishing, too! Local species include tuna, halibut, and salmon.

When you’re in search of a scenic, moody waterscape, Cannon Beach and the surrounding Pacific Northwest can’t be beat. We hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual tour of one of the most unique stops along the way!

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