The Great Beaver Drop

In 1948, the Idaho Fish and Game Department hatched a scheme to relocate beavers by airdropping them into “generally inaccessible wilderness” areas. Before they could perform such a strange task, they had to test their methods and equipment to determine the optimum dropping altitude.

Satisfactory experiments with dummy weights having been completed, one old beaver, whom we fondly named “Geronimo,” was dropped again and again on the flying field. Each time he scrambled out of the box, someone was on hand to pick him up. Poor fellow. He finally became resigned, and as soon as we approached him, would crawl back into his box ready to go aloft again. You may be sure that “Geronimo” had a priority reservation on the first ship into the hinterland, and that three young females went with him. Even there he stayed in the box for a long time after his harem was busy inspecting the new surroundings. However, his colony was later reported as very well established.

Read the rest of the story at Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine. Link -via mental_floss

(Image credit: Jennifer Wade)


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