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November 05, 2018

Organic trash collection in French theme park


THEME PARK'S LIVELY FEATHERED DUSTERS

David Ellis

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 for every time a crow drops something into them.

The Puy du Fou theme park in western France attracts around two-million visitors yearly, and with the country considered "the smoking-est in the world," it's not surprising that the park – which is a fascinating re-creation of a French village of old, with some twenty-six different live-action scenarios in which actors play-out aspects of the country's historic past – has something of a cigarette-butt problem.

And which its head of falconry, Christophe Gaborit who trains birds for those various shows, came up with an answer to by 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.


PHOTO CAPTION:

[] A "Feathered Duster" on the job at the Puy du Fou theme park in France picking up small bits of trash and cigarette butts, to put into special bins that reward the birds with little food treats. (Pic: Puy du Fou)

[] THE Puy Du Fou theme park is a fascinating recreation of a French village of old depicting the country's history through twenty-six, life-size and live-action play-scenes. (Pic: Puy du Fou)


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