Last week, Idaho Fish and Game released a long-lost film entitled "Fur for the Future." The film documented a project to repopulate backcountry wilderness areas of Idaho with beaver---pretty routine work in the late 1940s and early 1950s. However, add parachutes, specially designed boxes and aircraft into the mix and the story becomes one of wildlife management's most interesting tales. And it has not gone unnoticed.
Parachuting beavers have captured the attention of people all around the world. Since it was posted, 471,000 viewers have checked out the film on the Fish and Game YouTube Channel. Calls from radio stations and newspapers for interviews have come in from across the country including San Francisco, Orlando, Dallas, New York City and the heartland. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ran a piece from Toronto.
But the interest does not end in North America. From Brazil to India to Australia to the United Kingdom and beyond, beavers are parachuting onto radio programs, newspapers and websites. There is just something about a 40-pound rodent safely floating to its new home tucked in a box at the end of a WWII-era parachute. Slightly unbelievable, somewhat strange, definitely true, and ultimately successful, it's just the story for the lead-up to Halloween.
If you have not yet seen this fascinating look at wildlife management of yesteryear, check it out at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov.