Long-lost footage of parachuting beavers has been found

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BOISE, Idaho— More than half a century after a group of beavers parachuted into the Idaho backcountry, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has uncovered film footage of the quirky wildlife management moment.

In the 1940s the department was trying to deal with an overpopulation of beavers in some regions when wildlife managers settled on a novel idea. They captured beavers and other fur-bearing rodents, packed them into special travel boxes, attached parachutes and dropped them from a plane into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Boise State Public Radio reports that a film made around 1950 showed the infamous beaver drops, but it had long been lost.

Recently Fish and Game historian Sharon Clark found the fragile film, which had been mislabeled and stored in the wrong file.

Now it’s been digitized and released by the Idaho Historical Society and the Department of Fish and Game on YouTube. You can watch it here. The parachuting beavers start about 7 minutes in.

Animal lovers, take heart — it appears all beavers survived their flying adventures unharmed.