Parachuting beavers? Yes, back in the '50s, a special-ops team of these furry dam-builders took to the skies on a conservation mission. Their objective was simple: drop into Idaho's Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area and do what beavers to best: construction. We've heard the story before, but now you can see it for yourself in this newly-released footage!

The plan, developed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commission, was to capture "problem beavers" that were destroying property and relocate them to a location where their knack for chewing wood wouldn't get them into trouble with their human neighbours.

If this sounds like a barmy plan from a bygone era, you should know that airlifting wildlife is a conservation strategy that's still used today: from endangered sheep, to rhinos, and fish

According to Boise State Public Radio, the beavers were led by their pioneer, a plucky male named Geronimo, who was the first to test the box they would fly in (which was specially designed to open when it hit solid ground). All in all, 76 beavers were dropped into the basin during the course of the project, and amazingly, 75 of them survived to chomp another day!

HT The Washington Post


Top header image: Brett, Flickr