It was almost the ultimate all-Canadian story.
“Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) today announced the launch of the Super Beaver Inspector Task Force Initiative (SBITFITM), a program that uses North American beavers equipped with GoPro cameras to inspect remote conservation sites that are difficult or time consuming to reach by vehicle or on foot,” read the first line of the April 1 news release.
Beavers with tiny cameras attached to their heads would be joining naturalists in the quest to care for Canadian wetlands? Really? Would moose, Mounties or maple syrup be involved?
However, like most things that seem too good to be true, it was. The news release, as the last line stated, “was created in the spirit of April Fool’s Day.”
The inventive announcement, complete with video, included lots of explanatory details like b-zones, “pre-designated monitoring areas” within the 6.4 million acres of Canadian landscape under DUC care.
“The footage these working rodents collect will be used to determine if repairs or enhancements are needed to the wetlands, watersheds, or water control structures. The monitoring scope includes both above and below the water.”
Even an authoritative anatomical description was provided, outlining how the camera would be attached.
“Then the custom-fit, patent-pending head strap is placed between the postorbital process in the frontal skull, which is then pulled over the occipital bone toward the parietal region…”
The accompanying video pointed out that beavers were selected for the mission based on four criteria: the way their skeletal construction fit the harness apparatus, their swimming ability, their critical thinking skills and, finally, “their alignment to the organizational culture of Ducks Unlimited Canada.”
Ducks Unlimited Canada is, indeed, a busy group, confirmed a DUC spokesperson.