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)
1. termite n.
白蟻 (bai2 yi3)
例: The walls were full of termites.
2. detect v.i./v.t.
察覺 (cha2 jue2)
例: I thought I detected a smell of smoke.
3. infested adj.
大批出沒 (da4 pi1 chu1 mo4)
例: The waters are infested with piranhas.
4. relic n.
遺跡 (yi2 ji1)
例: The archaeologists found several important relics at the site.