side view of a Carrion Crow

Facility Adds Crows to Grounds Staff

  September 17, 2018

By Cathryn Jakicic

One of the largest theme parks in France recently announced a new strategy for keeping its grounds clean, according to One Green Planet. To back up its human facilities staff, Puy du Fou has trained six rooks — a type of crow — to pick up cigarette butts and other litter.

Before the rooks were put on maintenance duty, they played supporting roles on the park’s falconry show by picking up roses and bringing them to a princess. Puy du Fou falconer Christophe Gaborit came up with the idea to teach the birds to pick up trash.

Gaborit started training some rooks with bits of paper and cigarette butts by dropping them in a little box. The activity has become a game for the birds, says Nicolas de Villiers, the park’s president. They pick up the papers and receive a reward.

Birds in the crow family are known to be intelligent. In the wild, they use tools and have been observed making plans. Crows remember faces and when fed by a human, have been known to give gifts in return, according to NPR.

The purpose of the crows is to educate the people by opening their minds and making them realize that if the birds can pick up trash, people can, too, de Villiers says. Park officials emphasized that the birds are not replacing any human facilities staff.

This Quick Read was submitted by Cathryn Jakicic, Healthcare Industries Editor, FacilitiesNet. For more about hospital campuses and other medical facilities, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/healthcarefacilities.


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