Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beaver bombardier

Elmo Heter was an Idaho Fish and Game officers tasked with relocating beavers from an area of the state that was growing in population. He soon learned that horses and mules are easily spooked when loaded with live beavers. He conceived, tested, and implemented a plan to drop 76 beavers in the backcountry using surplus World War II parachutes and boxes that broke open when they landed. "The savings in man hours, and in the mortality of animals, is quite evident. Sex ratios are maintained. The beavers are healthier, and in better condition to establish a colony," Heter boasted in the Journal of Wildlife Management. Thus, the great 1948 Idaho beaver airlift went down in state history.

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