'Intelligent' crows to pick up litter at French theme park

Blanche Robertson
August 12, 2018

An historical theme park in France is training six crows to pick up cigarette ends and rubbish in a bid to keep it clean.

The crows will be encouraged to clean the park by the use of a small box which will deliver a snack of bird food each time the rook places a piece of rubbish inside.

"Rooks are unfairly maligned, classed as a nuisance, but these birds will perform an eco-friendly deed and restore their image", Mr Gaborit was quoted as saying on the theme park's in-house blog.

Traditionally seen as harbingers of death or symbols of evil, crows are often considered to be pests, but a French park has taken advantage of their innate intelligence and trained the birds to pick up litter.

The first cleaners have already been put to work, with the rest set to join them on Monday.

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The birds are said to be "particularly intelligent" and in the right circumstances they 'like to communicate with humans and establish a relationship through play'.

Nicolas de Villiers, president of the Puy de Fou park in Vendee, said the initiative would show visitors that nature itself could teach them to care for the environment.

While birdbrain has always been a pejorative term used to insult someone's intelligence, rooks are considered particularly smart.

Puy du Fou attracts more than 2 million visitors a year, making it the second most popular theme park in France after Disneyland Paris.

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