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

More than half a century after a group of beavers parachuted into the Idaho backcountry, 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 captured beavers and other furry rodents, packed them into special travel boxes and attached parachutes. Then they dropped them from a plane into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Animal lovers, take heart. It appears 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 uncovered 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 transplanting beavers still happens today. But it is done in a less dramatic fashion.

"We haven't done airplane drops for 50-plus years, but 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, 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.

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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 (60)
  • sheilah-6-bar
    10/29/2015 - 04:46 p.m.

    Officials used parachutes instead of trucks to transport beavers because caging beavers is not the right option for wildlife. It says in the article, "Trapping and transplanting beavers still happens today. But it is done in a less dramatic fashion." This shows how people still transport animals through cages, even though it harms the animal. Putting an animal in a parachute showed no harm the the beavers. I think this article is interesting because it shows how there are different alternatives for transporting animals.

  • calis-3-bar
    10/29/2015 - 09:03 p.m.

    Officials used parachutes rather than trucks to transport the Beavers because of the press assosiation and the "natural" feel. Officials wanted to bring awareness to the issue of beaver overpopulation, causing them to transport the Beavers in a more dramatic fashion. "fur For The Future" displays this, as a movie was made about the incident in order to gain awareness and attention. Not only did the officials use parachutes for the media, but they also did it to give the Beavers a more natural feel. Transporting the animals in trucks would cause them to be put in cages, making the animals afraid of humans. This could prevent future rescues, and cause problems when unloading the Beavers into their new environment. Planes led to the Beavers being dropped without close contact with humans. I enjoyed this article, as I hadn't heard about the flying beavers before. This is auntie approach to the situation, and it was funny to read about.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    10/29/2015 - 09:06 p.m.

    These beavers that are from the park are now jumping from rocks into the water. They look like little parachuting men, but only they are beavers. I think that it is really cool for these people to record something that you can't see everyday. I hope that they can record other things like bears doing things like jumping into the water like a cannon ball and other things like that.

  • matthewp-6-bar
    10/29/2015 - 11:22 p.m.

    Officials use parachutes instead of trucks to send beavers to new homes because trucks it is harder to get to a more remote area while airplanes you can fly to very remote areas to parachute in the beavers. This is shown in the article by,"It apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places." This article surprised me because parachuting beavers into a new remote location is very odd and that it worked so well and no animals were harmed. Also it surprised me that the videos of the beavers being parachuted in were just found.

  • gregorys-6-bar
    10/29/2015 - 11:55 p.m.

    The beavers were parachuted instead of being brought by truck because as stated in the second to last paragraph , "We haven't done airplane drops for 50-plus years, but it apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them in remote places". The trucks couldn't have gotten the beavers to thier remote homes. This article was surprising because this seems like a harsh way of treating all the animals. My opinion was changed though because in the article states that the animals were not harmed.

  • aidanp-1-bar
    10/30/2015 - 12:50 a.m.

    Even to this day, historians don't know why hey did it. Why we ask ourselves, why.It could be to raise awareness. Maybe so the beavers can spot there surroundings.

  • lukep-6-bar
    10/30/2015 - 10:03 a.m.

    Parachuting beavers to get them to a new area may sound a little unnecessary. Officials used parachutes instead of trucks to find the beavers a new home because it was easier, faster, and less time consuming. Steve Nadeau, fish and games statewide fur bearer manager said, "we haven't done airplane drops for 50 plus years, but it apparently worked pretty well back then to re-establish them into remote places.

  • oscarb-1-bar
    10/30/2015 - 10:47 a.m.

    Officials used parachutes to send the beavers to there new home if it was in a remote place. It said "We haven't used this way for over 50 years, but it seams an efficient way to but the animals in a remote place" . This shows how it is much easier then driving a truck to remote places. At first I would think this is cruel to the animals, but when they were unharmed it sounded like a good idea. It would be funny watching them drop from the sky.

  • caitlynk-2-bar
    10/31/2015 - 07:42 p.m.

    Officials use parachutes instead of trucks to deliver the beaves to their new homes for a novel idea and a cool youtube film. I personally do not like this idea because it could have gone wrong in to many ways. This article was interesting because it is weird to see what things people will do on any social media network. This article was surprising because it is weird that these people could potentially harm these innocent beavers when they could just as easily delievered them in trucks and insure their safety.

  • laneys-1-ols
    11/02/2015 - 12:50 p.m.

    They used parachutes instead because it was easy to drop them out of a plane than to drive in the rough terrian.

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