The footage, once believed lost, will brighten your day as only a beaver can.
In the 1940s and ’50s, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game was overrun with beavers in certain regions of the state. In order to confront the overpopulation problem — and because beavers can do so much good — a pretty wild scheme was enacted: the beaver airdrop.
Beavers and related furry rodents were packed into boxes, taken up in planes and parachuted down to their new homes in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. This sounds like a pretty scary place, but beavers are resilient. It appears that all survived their relocation adventure.
The ’50s film had been missing for decades and was recently recovered by fish and game historian Sharon Clark. The Idaho Historical Society digitised the film and released it on the Internet so that the creative solution could be appreciated by beaver lovers everywhere.
The beavers are trapped around the 7:00 minute mark; they begin parachuting at 8:40.
“A good load,” the announcer says. “A load of beaver for the mountains.”