Half a century ago, a brave group of beavers parachuted into the Idaho backcountry. Now, officials have uncovered footage of the quirky event.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game was struggling with beaver overpopulation in the 1940s when they decided to solve the problem in an untraditional way: capturing the rodents and parachuting them into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
(Don't worry, all beavers made it unharmed to the river).
The video, made around 1950 and titled “Fur for the Future,” shows the beavers falling from the sky into the wilderness.
Sharon Clark, a Fish and Game historian, uncovered the video recently, which had been mislabeled and stored in the wrong box.
Below is the video, released by the department and the Idaho Historical Society. Start around 8:35 to see them packed up and dropped from the plane.
These beavers may be some of the only ones to get such a sweet ride to their new home. Steve Nadeau, Fish and Game’s statewide fur bearer manager, said they “haven’t done airplane drops for 50-plus years, but it apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places.”
Now, the department relocates beavers (not via parachute) to the Owyhee desert, where they help restore the habitat and vegetation.