Meet the adorable dog helping fight crazy ant invasion
THE team tackling an invasion of yellow crazy ants in Lismore has a new helper, and he's adorable.
Jet, an English springer spaniel, has already worked on koala-finding missions on the Northern Rivers.
He's now been retrained to find yellow crazy ant colonies and Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said they hoped Jet would help them to stamp out the invasive species, which was first spotted by 19-year-old Milo Yeigh in Lismore's CBD earlier this year.
"We're very confident that we'll be able to knock this on the head and not allow these yellow crazy ants, that can set up these super-colonies, to have an impact on not only the environment but also some of the agricultural and horticultural production in the Lismore area," Mr Blair said.
Nationals candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin said he was "really thankful" to the State Government, Local Land Services, the DPI and Lismore City Council for being dedicated to tackling the issue.
While the issue of the ants has also been raised in other parts of the region, Jet will focus on the Lismore CBD for the time being.
Handler Craig Faulkner from Reconeco said he was "really happy" with Jet's prospects.
"We're very happy with his progress," Mr Faulkner said.
"We're glad that we're going to be part of the yellow crazy ant team."
Trainer Steve Austin, who travelled from Sydney to train Jet, said the "most important thing" in training any dog was the reward. For Jet, there's a ball on offer when he finds a colony.
And if his face is any indication, this is a dog who so far loves his job.