Video of beavers parachuting resurfaces, circa 1948


Perhaps the Flying Beaver bar in Richmond, B.C. took inspiration for its name from this relocation program executed by the Idaho Fish and Game department back in the 1940s.

Recently unearthed video captures the plan in action, as beavers in boxes are parachuted from the sky into new habitats. The story dates back to 1948, when the state was dealing with the problem of too many beavers living too close to developing residential areas. An employee from Idaho Fish and Game knew there was a surplus of parachutes leftover from the war, and an idea was quickly hatched.

The beavers would be dropped from the plane in specially designed boxes that were to break open upon impact. (The first idea to have the sharp-toothed animals chew their way through the boxes was nixed after it was realized that they might start going at it while in flight.)

In total, 76 of the creatures were torpedoed from the sky into a rural basin. All but one survived. It costs about $30 to drop four beavers from a plane at the time, which would be about $295 in today’s currency.

Beavers in the state are still caught and relocated as a way to help the habitat, just not by parachute.