Idaho’s Parachuting Beavers Keep Making News Decades Later
Seventy years later and the story still fascinates. Half a dozen years after the original film was recovered, Idaho’s parachuting beavers are legends. Fish and Game uploaded the original grainy film to YouTube and millions saw the entire quarter hour or shorter portions. For a couple of weeks after the re-release, the story was all over TV newscasts and the talk of the Internet.
The beavers were used to repopulate remote areas and the descendants of the original large rodents did their job and multiplied. It became a lesson in modern species conservation.
Which drew the attention of a science website that recently revived the story. You can read more by clicking here. The site mentions the state of Michigan later parachuted wolves! However, most of us wouldn’t want a wolf to be blown off course and have it end up in our backyard.
What’s extraordinary about the work of Fish and Game is that some brilliant minds developed boxes to hold the beavers as they dropped to earth. The boxes would open upon touchdown and the animals would be free. Only one malfunctioned, leading to the tragic end of one beaver, but you need to understand something. The option was killing a much larger number of beavers deemed a nuisance. Idaho ingenuity saved the day.
What I love about the film is the rustic quality. If you were a kid growing up in the 50s or 60s, you remember the movies we used to watch at school. Grainy, with jump cuts and enthusiastic narration. It was a time when people were optimists and believed everything was possible.