Two words: parachuting beavers (Thinkstock)
Two words: parachuting beavers
Lexile

More than half a century ago a group of beavers parachuted into the Idaho backcountry. Now officials have discovered footage of the quirky wildlife management moment.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game was struggling with an overpopulation of beavers in some regions in the 1940s. Then wildlife managers settled on a novel idea. They caught beavers and other furry rodents and packed them into special travel boxes. Then they attached parachutes and dropped them from a plane into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Animal lovers, take heart. It looks like all the beavers made it through their flying adventures unharmed.

The film made around 1950 was dubbed "Fur for the Future." It showed the infamous beaver drops. It had long been lost, Boise State Public Radio reported.

Fish and Game historian Sharon Clark recently found the fragile film. It had been mislabeled and stored in the wrong file. It has been digitized and released on YouTube by the department and the Idaho Historical Society.

Trapping and relocating beavers still happens today. But it is done in a less dramatic fashion.

"We haven't done airplane drops for 50-plus years. It apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places," said Steve Nadeau, Fish and Game's statewide fur bearer manager.

The agency now moves beavers to the Owyhee desert in the state's southwest corner. They do it to help restore vegetation stripped away by years of watershed use. Nadeau says the goal is for beavers to make ponds in the region, which can hold water year-round.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 189 times
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


COMMENTS (124)
  • kyled-2929778-
    10/29/2015 - 03:39 p.m.

    They should keep them where they are at because it will be a lot to move in one place.

  • ryanr-ver
    10/29/2015 - 06:08 p.m.

    It is very funny to think about a beaver parachuting from the sky. The fact that this method was used successfully to relocate beavers is very humorous yet still very intelligent.

  • william1108-yyca
    10/29/2015 - 09:02 p.m.

    WOW! If they hadn't dropped the beavers safely then the beavers would have gotten hurt. But it is good that the people added parachutes to the boxes. But I am sure that I don't want to do a parachute. Maybe next time I will or maybe I won't

  • John0724-YYCA
    10/29/2015 - 09:21 p.m.

    I kind of think that this was a bad thing for the beavers because they have to go in an airplane and they were literally parachuted down to the back country. But the good thing is that they stopped the over population of beavers so no chaos would have happened. But still t hey should have transported the beavers n a safer way.

  • raymunda-4-bar
    10/29/2015 - 09:28 p.m.

    Officials used parachutes instead of trucks to send beavers to new homes because it was way easier to fly them over than to drive the treacherous roads. Steve Nadeau stated that, "We haven't done airplane drops for 50-plus years. It apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places." this means that the animal droppings are really easy to do back then rather driving them. Flying also makes it easier because in birds eye view, you could see where the nearest pond is in the area.
    One thing that seems interesting is how amazing flying a plane full of beavers and sending them skydiving to their new home is. One thing that shocked me is that the beavers Idaho are overcrowding the area, and I thought the beavers were starting to be endangered because of humans hunting them down.

  • colbys-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 09:30 p.m.

    I think that the officials used parachutes to deliver the beavers because it is faster, easier, and it will be more fuel efficient. They delivered the beavers to "help restore vegetation stripped away by watershed use" the author said on the last paragraph. This article interests me because beavers are my one of my favorite animals, and this a funny way of transporting animals.

  • tylera-1-bar
    10/29/2015 - 11:34 p.m.

    Officials used parachutes instead of trucks because they were relocating the beavers to a remote part of wilderness. The use of parachutes may be more dangerous than a truck but it was necessary to get the beavers to a remote area. I chose this article because it intrigued me that beavers would be dropped out of a plane with parachutes in order to be relocated.

  • rorys-1-bar
    10/30/2015 - 01:01 a.m.

    Officials use parachutes instead of trucks to send beavers to new homes because trucks can not maneuver as well as parachutes dropping. One reason that they used parachutes is "It apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places," said Steve Nadeau, Fish and Game's statewide fur bearer manager." Trucks can not move an item or creature to a remote place as well as airdropping an item or creature. Another reason is "They do it to help restore vegetation stripped away by years of watershed use." This means that as my first piece of article states that a remote place will have more vegetation as a more densely populated area.

    Opinion: I think this article is surprising and interesting. For example who thought to airdrop a creature, into a forest no less! Also I am glad no beaver was hurt in the airdrop.

  • taylorh-4-bar
    10/30/2015 - 01:25 a.m.

    Officials used parachutes instead of trucks to send beavers to their new home because there were places that could not be visited by truck. Steve Nadeau said "We haven't done airplane drops for fifty-plus years. It apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places." I found this article crazy because officials were dropping beavers out of the sky and letting them float down onto areas we could not get to by truck and assuming they would live and survive.

  • adamp-3-bar
    10/30/2015 - 02:19 a.m.

    The officials used parachutes instead of trucks because beavers can be easily put in a remote spot when you drop them from a plane because you can't control where the beaver will land. Proof of this is in the second to last paragraph, Steve Nadeau (Fish and game's statewide fur manager) said, "It apparantely worked pretty well back then to reestablish them in remote places." My opinion on the article is it is so sick that the Beavers got parachuted. I probably want to watch the video of them getting parachuted.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT