This French theme park trained crows to do what now?
No, your Edgar Allan Poe-themed nightmares are not coming true. A theme park in western France has decided to turn a bird problem into an ecological solution.
Puy de Fou, which began as an open-air LARPing experience for actors to reenact French Revolution battles, is now a coasterless amusement park where kids come to experience the most exciting (and explosion-driven) scenes in history. And, in an effort to build a cleaner and more environmentally sound enterprise, falconer Christophe Gaborit has trained a number of local pests to pick up cigarette butts and deposit them in a box in exchange for a bite of food. In other words, the park has designed a very primitive vending machine for scavenger birds.
If you watch this video, you’ll be surprised to see how effective the technique is. As Gaborit explains, the crows are remarkably adept at learning the trade-off system. It just goes to show, sometimes combining two things that seem so wrong can turn out alright.