A theme park in France has come up with a novel way of cleaning up cigarette butts and other trash dropped by untidy guests.
It’s trained a half-dozen crows to pick up the butts and other discarded small items, and to drop them into special litter bins that dispense a small nugget of bird food as a reward every time a crow drops something into them.
The Puy du Fou theme park in western France attracts around 2 million visitors yearly.
It is a fascinating re-creation of a French village of old, with some 26 different live-action scenarios in which actors play-out aspects of the country’s historic pas
With France considered “the smoking-est in the world,” it’s not surprising that the park has something of a cigarette-butt problem – a look that doesn’t add the village’s olde-worlde charm.
So they were fortunate when the park’s head of falconry, Christophe Gaborit, who trains birds for those various shows, came up with an answer to the problem.
He went about training a half-dozen crows to spot cigarette butts and other small items of litter, pick them up and put them into those special bins… with food treats as a reward for doing so.
The crows are a breed known as rooks, and according to Mr Gaborit they’re a particularly intelligent species that have proven ideal in training for their current roles.
And it’s probably no surprise that the good-housekeeping birds have been quickly dubbed The Feathered Dusters.