They also tried a few solutions to stop the road cones from being knocked over. When heavier road cones didn’t quite do the trick, they resorted to building a roadside jungle gym for the birds to play on.
The “kea gym” has objects, contraptions, and puzzles to distract the birds from the road. The gym has ladders, flotation devices, swings, and climbing frames, and the whole thing gets rearranged regularly to hold the birds’ interest.
The alpine birds are native to New Zealand and are considered an endangered species after their numbers were seriously depleted by farmers in the 1970s who considered the intelligent birds to be pests.
Keas are cheeky, intelligent and hilarious and will try anything once. Their experimentation leads to all kinds of incredible problem-solving feats and naughty interactions with people and other animals.
Now conservation efforts are underway to preserve the bird.
Just how smart are Kea birds? Watch this clip from the BBC of a kea trying to figure out how to move heavy logs so that he can open up the wheelie bins. Keep in mind this is a wild bird and has not been shown or taught what to do. His puzzle-solving skills are seriously impressive.
Keas also frequent ski resorts in search of food, as this other clip reveals. They’ll try anything once!