French theme park trains crows to clean up garbage

Puy du Fou historical theme park has deployed six smart birds to pick up cigarette butts and litter

An unusual example of cross-species collaboration has occurred in Puy du Fou historical theme park. This amusement fair in the French western region of Vendée has trained six Eurasian crows to pick up cigarette butts and rubbish.

French theme park trains crows to clean up garbage Puy du Fou theme park crows garbage theme park trains crows to pick up
French theme park trains crows to clean up garbage


However, the birds don’t do this for free. Once they pick up the garbage, they place the litter into a box that releases food as a reward.

More than 2 million visitors come to Puy du Fou every year making the park second most popular in France, right after Disneyland in Paris.

While the crows are doing an outstanding job, the park representatives have different intentions than just to obtain “cheap labour” for maintenance.

“The goal is not just to clear up, because the visitors are generally careful to keep things clean,” the park’s president, Nicolas de Villiers, told Agence France-Presse news agency.

It is also about showing that “nature itself can teach us to take care of the environment”, he added.

The aim is also to show the park visitors that crows are incredibly smart and that they can perform difficult tasks to get a reward.

De Villiers also noted that the birds also “like to communicate with humans and establish a relationship through play.”

However, Puy du Fou park is not the first establishment that has decided to cooperate with crows.

Earlier this year, scientist experimented with New Caledonian crows that are even able to make and use tools.

The researches created a vending machine was giving bird food once the crows used a paper token of a particular size. The birds proved themselves to be able to remember the particular size of their “money”.

 

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