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More than half a century ago a group of beavers parachuted into the Idaho backcountry. Now officials have found footage of the odd wildlife management moment.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game was struggling with an overpopulation of beavers. It was in some regions in the 1940s. Then wildlife managers settled on a novel idea. They caught beavers and other furry rodents.
Then they packed them into special travel boxes. They attached them to parachutes. Then they dropped them from a plane into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
Animal lovers can take heart. It seems all of the beavers made it through their flying adventures. They were not hurt.
The film was made around 1950. It was called "Fur for the Future." It showed the infamous beaver drops. It had long been lost according to Boise State Public Radio reported.
Fish and Game historian Sharon Clark recently found the breakable film. It had been mislabeled. It was stored in the wrong file. It has been digitized and released on YouTube by the department and the Idaho Historical Society.
Trapping and moving beavers still happens today. But it is done in a less dramatic way.
"We have not done airplane drops for 50-plus years. It apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places," said Steve Nadeau. He is the Fish and Game's statewide fur bearer manager.
The agency now moves beavers to the Owyhee desert. It is in the Idaho's southwest corner. This helps to restore vegetation taken away by years of watershed use. Nadeau says the goal is for beavers to make ponds in the area. The ponds can hold water year-round.
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did officials use parachutes instead of trucks to send beavers to new homes?
Write your answers in the comments section below