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'Intelligent' crows to pick up litter at French theme park

© AFP/File | Something to crow about: Rooks are being put to work picking cigarette butts at a French theme park

PARIS (AFP) - 

Six crows specially trained to pick up cigarette ends and rubbish will be put to work next week at a French historical theme park, its president said on Friday.

"The goal is not just to clear up, because the visitors are generally careful to keep things clean" but also to show that "nature itself can teach us to take care of the environment", Nicolas de Villiers of the Puy du Fou park, in the western Vendee region, told AFP.

Rooks, a member of the crow family of birds that also includes the carrion crow, jackdaw and raven, are considered to be "particularly intelligent" and in the right circumstances "like to communicate with humans and establish a relationship through play", Villiers said.

The birds will be encouraged to spruce up the park through the use of a small box that delivers a tasty nugget of bird food each time the rook deposits a cigarette end or small piece of rubbish, he added.

© 2018 AFP