Tue, Nov 13, 2007 - Page 13 News List

Dogs save relics 小狗挽救老古蹟

An English springer spaniel known as James runs around the ring at the 131st Westminster dog show in New York, Feb. 13, 2007. PHOTO: AP
今年二月十三日,在第一百三十一屆紐約西敏寺犬展中,英國史賓格獵犬「詹姆士」繞著圈子跑。照片:美聯社

Man's best friend has a new job in South Korea - protecting cultural heritage from termites, officials said.

The dogs have been given the task of sniffing out termites which eat away at historic buildings, most of which were built of wood, officials of the Cultural Heritage Administration said.

In a demonstration before TV cameras on Oct. 31, two English springer spaniels easily detected termites hiding in wooden pillars at the majestic Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul.

The dogs, aged three and four, then sat back and wagged their tails before their handlers came up. They have been trained not to scratch or lick infested areas in case they damage cultural relics.

"The dogs will greatly reduce the time and cost of detecting termites," Kim Byung-Gi, a senior official of the heritage administration said, adding it takes three to six months to find termites by laying traps.

Some 20 percent of South Korea's 2,600 historic wooden buildings are feared to be infested by termites.(AFP)

人類最好的朋友在南韓有了新工作-保護文化遺產的免受蟻害,官員表示。

南韓獵犬被賦予一項新的任務,牠們得嗅出蛀蝕古蹟的白蟻所在,這些古蹟大多是木造建築,南韓文化遺產廳表示。

上個月三十一日在南韓首爾市中心雄偉的景福宮中,兩隻史賓格獵犬在電視攝影機前展示了牠們的本領,牠們毫不費力就找出躲藏在木柱裡的白蟻。

這兩隻獵犬一隻三歲、一隻四歲。牠們在找到白蟻後,便坐下搖尾巴,等著訓練人員前來處理。牠們學會不用爪子去抓或是去舔有蛀蟲的區域,以免破壞了遺跡。

文化遺產廳資深官員金炳基(音譯)說:「這兩隻生力軍的加入將大大節省我們尋找白蟻的時間和經費。」他還說,設置陷阱抓白蟻,通常需要費時三到六個月。

南韓兩千六百座的木造歷史建築中,恐有兩成受到白蟻蛀蝕。(法新社/翻譯:袁星塵)

TODAY'S WORDS 今日單字

1. termite n.

白蟻 (bai2 yi3)

例: The walls were full of termites.

(那些牆裡滿是白蟻。)

2. detect v.i./v.t.

察覺 (cha2 jue2)

例: I thought I detected a smell of smoke.

(我覺得我好像聞到煙味。)

3. infested adj.

大批出沒 (da4 pi1 chu1 mo4)

例: The waters are infested with piranhas.

(這附近水域出現了大批水虎魚。)

4. relic n.

遺跡 (yi2 ji1)

例: The archaeologists found several important relics at the site.

(考古學家們在這個遺址附近找到若干重要的遺跡。)


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