Parachuting Beavers

Back in the 1940s, people were moving into Idaho, and the new landowners didn’t mix well with beavers. Meanwhile, Idaho's Chamberlain Basin could use some beavers to help maintain the environment. Moving the beavers was the ideal solution, but getting them to Chamberlain Basin was a problem. There weren’t any roads there, and carrying beavers by mule was difficult because mules don’t like beavers. The Idaho department of Fish and Game came up with a different idea: drop the beavers from a plane! They developed a special box for the beavers that would open on impact, and used surplus World War II parachutes. They dropped 76 beavers; 75 of them survived and flourished. Read more about the beaver drop at Boise State Public Radio. 

We told you the story a few years ago, but it sure sounded like a tall tale, although a dam interesting one. Then just recently, an educational film that included the 1948 beaver drop was discovered called “Fur for the Future.” It had been mislabeled in the archives. So there's real proof that the beaver drop actually happened.

You can watch the whole thing, but if you just want to see the beaver drop, skip ahead to about the seven minute mark.

(YouTube link)

(Image credit: Idaho Fish and Game)


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