Rubbish-collecting crows a star attraction at French theme park

1 / 3
A crow drops a cigarette end in a box in exchange for food on the parking lot of Le Puy du Fou, in Les Epesses, western France. Six crows specially trained to pick up cigarette ends and rubbish were put to work last week at the historical theme park. (AFP)
2 / 3
A crow picks up a cigarette end on the parking lot of Le Puy du Fou, in Les Epesses, western France. Six crows specially trained to pick up cigarette ends and rubbish were put to work last week at the historical theme park. (AFP)
3 / 3
Christophe Gaborit, in charge of falconry at Le Puy du Fou theme park, looks at one of his crows, trained to collect cigarette ends and thrash from the parking lot of the historical theme park. (AFP)
Updated 16 August 2018
0

Rubbish-collecting crows a star attraction at French theme park

  • The birds have been picking up litter on the site that features shows and rides themed around different periods of history
  • The black rooks were chosen for their intelligence and have been trained to take small items of litter to a special wooden box

PUY-DU-FOU, France: Visitors to a theme park in western France this week have a new attraction to enjoy: six crows that have been specially trained to pick up cigarette ends and rubbish.
The birds have been in action since Monday at the Puy du Fou park, picking up litter on the site that features shows and rides themed around different periods of history.
The black rooks, a member of the crow family, were chosen for their intelligence and have been trained to take small items of litter to a special wooden box in exchange for a tasty nugget of bird food for each deposit.
There have been some instances of cheating, however, with some of the crows attempting to steal rubbish from others to win the rewards.
“It’s ecological, it’s practical and it’s fun to see,” Swiss tourist Dorothee Haefliger told AFP.
The managers of the park say the experiment is designed to make visitors more aware about litter.
“We can see litter here on the car park and the crows are picking it up,” Christophe Gaborit, who is in charge of falconry at the park, told AFP.
He stood holding the wooden box and dispensing the bird food for each piece of collected rubbish.
“That’s not normal. It’s up to us, humans, to take care of it. That’s the ultimate message,” he added.
He said that he had always loved rooks, adding that they are under-appreciated birds.
“People see it differently, so that makes me happy,” he said. “We’ve changed its image and that’s really interesting.”


Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

Updated 21 February 2019
0

Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

  • The awards ceremony will take place on March 24
  • Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen

DUBAI: Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman has lauded teachers as the “real superheroes” ahead of the  million-dollar Global Teacher Prize ceremony to be held in Dubai next month.

Speaking in a four-minute long video message, the actor revealed the 10 finalists who will be up for the prize on March 24.

Recalling his own experience, Wolverine star Jackman spoke of his “transformative” experience with his acting teacher.

Hugh Jackman and his acting teacher. (Supplied)

And he described the teaching profession as “the most important job in the world.”

“My favorite uncle was a teacher, my sister’s a teacher, my brother’s a teacher… My hope for every single person on the planet is that you have at least one,” he said.

“All of us go through insecurity and doubt, trepidation, along this journey of life, and those teachers that see the best in us and are patient enough to allow us to grow into that, they are like gold,” he added.

Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen, including teachers from the UK, India, Japan, and Kenya.

The Dubai-based Global Teacher Prize was set up by global education charity Varkey Foundation to recognize one teacher “who made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.”

“I hope their stories will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day,” said Sunny Varkey, the founder of the Varkey Foundation.

The winner will be announced at the “Global Education & Skills Forum” on March 24.

On the eve of the forum, chart toppers Little Mix, Liam Payne, and Rita Ora will perform at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater in a tribute concert organized by the foundation.

Here's the video announcement: