Since most humans just casually go about littering their surroundings on a day-to-day basis, environmentalists are looking for help from an unusual source. A French historical theme park, Puy du Fou, has trained six crows to pick up cigarette butts and rubbish and get food as a reward.
“The goal is not just to clear up, because the visitors are generally careful to keep things clean but also to show that nature itself can teach us to take care of the environment”, Nicolas de Villiers of the Puy du Fou park told AFP.
These especially skilled crows are called Rooks. They are known for communicating with humans and are quite intelligent. For training these crows, the technique they use is of rewarding with a nugget of bird food every time they pick up and bring a piece of garbage.
Une nouvelle équipe se prépare à nettoyer les allées du Grand Parc. Rien d’insolite à première vue si ce n’est qu’elle est entièrement composée… de corbeaux ! Plus d’infos https://t.co/FWnqIFeKpb#ecologie #environnement pic.twitter.com/zlxI5Zwiip
— Puy du Fou (@PuyduFou) August 8, 2018
Rooks like to establish a relationship through games and so, they were easy to train.
This is not the first time when crows have been used for such an activity. In 2017, Dutch entrepreneurs Ruben van der Vleuten and Bob Spikman first trained them as they wanted to utilise the crow’s habit of collecting garbage. The entrepreneur duo got a device known as the Crow Box which worked like a vending machine for crows and used to reward the crow with a peanut when a coin was dropped. Ruben and Bob redesigned it and used cigarette butts instead of coins and renamed it Crowbar.
The world is currently being plagued by a problem of excess garbage that it can’t process. Recently, coastal cities like Mumbai and those around the world in countries like Mexico, the Philippines and Mexico witnessed the sea throwing tonnes of garbage on its beaches and sidewalks. Many municipal corporations across India have already banned the use of plastic, however, the implementation of the ban has been quite loose.