The Puy du Fou historical theme park in France trained six crows to pick up and dispose of trash lying on the ground.
The birds will be encouraged to collect and deposit small bits of rubbish into a box which will then deliver a nugget of food. The birds will work four days a week under close supervision — so humans don’t deliberately drop trash to watch the birds clean it up.
The idea came from one of the park’s falconers, Christophe Gaborit. As part of the falconry show, crows had already been trained to pick up roses and bring them to a princess — so in the 2000s, Gaborit raised and trained two rooks to do the same with rubbish.
The crows are part of an educational campaign to prompt the ecologically minded to take their rubbish with them.
“We want to educate people not to throw their garbage on the ground,” said Nicolas de Villiers, the president of Puy du Fou. That is especially true of smokers who casually flick lit cigarettes and extinguish them with the tips of their shoes. As Mr. de Villiers put it, if crows can be schooled to pick up trash, why can’t humans?