A historical theme park in western France has a pack of crows patrolling streets for garbage and litter.
Yes, crows have been trained to do what we people should have done a long time ago. The historical Puy du Fou theme park in Les Epesses, France, has successfully trained a group of crows to pick up cigarette buds and other litter, keeping the park clean.
By Friday morning, six rooks will begin their new job at the second most popular theme park in France, after Disneyland Paris.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) August 8, 2018
The procedure is simple, the birds have been trained to recognize litter, pick it up and flying over to dump it into a bin. Their motivation? Reward of course. Every time a crow drops a piece of litter in the designated bin, it is rewarded with a food nugget.
This is not the first time crows have been used to clean up streets. A Dutch startup named Crowded Cities recently trained the birds to fetch cigarette buds in exchange for peanuts.
In exchange for a treat, a bird had to push a cigarette filter into a vending machine. It wasn’t long before the crows in the area learned to associate the vending machines with free food, and it became a habit.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) August 13, 2018
The theme park management however knows just how practical (and impractical) the method is.
Speaking to AFP, Puy du Fou president Nicolas de Villiers said that “the goal is not just to clear up, because the visitors are generally careful to keep things clean.”