For the most part, humans are lazy slobs. We leave our trash just about everywhere — including the farthest reaches of the ocean and even space — but attendees of a theme park in France are going to get a helping hand in keeping clean thanks to a crew of incredibly smart birds.
The Puy du Fou amusement park in Les Epesses, France, has already deployed several trained rooks, which are a species of black birds which are typically scavengers. The birds have no problem digging through human refuse for a tasty treat, so the park has employed them to pick up small pieces of trash in exchange for a steady food supply.
The system the park officials have come up with is pretty unique: First, the birds find bits of litter scattered around the park, including things like cigarette butts and plastic wrappers, and then drop them off in a small trash bin which automatically rewards the bird with some food. The birds are very smart, and clearly don’t mind picking up after humans if they get a meal out of the deal.
According to the BBC, the park already had some of the birds working on trash cleanup but more were being added to the avian army this week.
“The goal is not just to clear up, because the visitors are generally careful to keep things clean,” Nicolas de Villiers, park head, told an AFP reporter. He added that the exercise is an example of how nature itself can teach us to keep nature that the planet tidy. That might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s certainly neat that the park’s flying residents now have a meaningful and fulfilling job to do.