To obtain out-of-reach food, the crow repeatedly took a piece of straight wire and bent it to create a hook.
New Caledonian crows living in the wild do create hooked probes from twigs, but the captive crow did something very different.
“To our knowledge, there are no confirmed reports of any animal making a hook out of unnatural material, such as wire, to solve a new problem,” said Alex Kacelnik, a behavioral ecologist who coauthored the report with Alex A. S. Weir and Jackie Chappell.
“The surprising thing about our crow is that, faced with a new problem, she worked out a new solution by herself,” said Kacelnik. “In the wild, New Caledonian crows make hooks by working on twigs, but they live in social groups and follow age-old techniques in response to problems that the species may have been exposed to for thousands of years.”