Fitzroy Cleans Up His Act

Fitzroy Cleans Up His Act

#Taronga Zoo Sydney

Posted on 13th November 2012 by Media Relations

Like Ord before him, Fitzroy, a member of our Sulphur-crested Cockatoo flock, is gearing up for something new at the Bird Show.

With their yellow crests and raucous squawks, it is easy to see why these parrots are known as being loud and energetic, embodying the stereotypic concept of Aussie larrikin antics. Currently, Fitzroy flies low over the heads of our audience, showing off the huge diversity of cockatoos this country has on offer but now he’s cleaning up his act, and demonstrating that being “litter smart” is so simple, even he can do it.

Not disposing of our rubbish correctly can have massive, and sometimes fatal, impacts on our Australian wildlife, so down at the Bird Show we’ve enlisted the help of Fitzroy to address the problem.  Fitzroy was the perfect candidate to remedy this as he is confident and inquisitive, as well as not afraid of a little smart work.

Fitzroy’s new routine involves flying onto stage at the conclusion of our show, retrieving a pre-set rubbish item, flying it to a bin and dropping it inside. Over the last few weeks Fitzroy and his trainers have been working hard to get his new routine show ready. Using positive reinforcement, that is giving a reward when Fitzroy does something we want, we introduced different types of safe rubbish to Fitzroy, including juice boxes and wrappers, to make sure he was comfortable and learnt how to pick them up.   As Fitzroy is very intelligent, once he knew how to pick up the items, the next step was to place them where they belong, in the bin. Fitzroy is certainly doing his part to keep our bird show stage nice and clean.

Fitzroy has taken all of this in his stride and has even completed a dress rehearsal in front of a small crowd where he showed everyone exactly where that rubbish should go.  It just goes to show that if Fitzroy can do his part for the environment then we certainly can too.  It’s up to all of us to keep this planet clean, so let’s follow Fitzroy’s example and ‘Take 3’ by putting our rubbish in the bin and recycling!

Bird Trainer Emma