French theme park calls in the crows to pick up cigarette butts

Six birds trained to collect garbage by offering treat for each piece of rubbish collected

The crows will embark on their cleaning duties in the coming days. File photograph: Getty Images

The crows will embark on their cleaning duties in the coming days. File photograph: Getty Images

 

A French theme park has trained six crows to pick up cigarette butts and other rubbish dropped by visitors in return for food.

Christophe Gaborit, the head of falconry at the Puy de Fou park in western France, hand-reared the six crows and trained them to collect garbage by offering a treat for each piece of rubbish collected.

“Rooks are unfairly maligned, classed as a nuisance. But these birds will perform an eco-friendly deed and restore their image,” said Mr Gaborit on the theme park’s in-house blog.

The crows receive a nugget of food from a small drawer each time they deposit rubbish in a designated container.

While “birdbrain” has long been a pejorative term used to insult someone’s intelligence, crows are considered particularly smart. Research has shown the hand-reared birds to be adept at using tools in captivity to get food.

Mr Gaborit said his birds had already tried to dupe him by collecting wood shavings in place of rubbish.

The crows will embark on their cleaning duties in the coming days. – Reuters