This is Zoe Jennings. And, more to the point, this is Ms Jennings' Goliath stick insect enjoying an outing across her owner's face.
There is absolutely no need for alarm, Ms Jennings says. Appearing at the Ballarat Spring Show this weekend, she is determined to challenge the stereotypes that people have about animals that sometimes attract the wrong sort of attention.
For the Burrumbeet based animal lover, creatures like the bark-like insect resting a leg on her nose deserve just as much affection as your regular household pets.
'I want to show people that you can have more than just a dog and a cat as a pet," she said on the opening day of the show.
"Just because dad or mum is allergic to cats or dogs doesn't mean you can't have a pet and that's what I am advocating for."
With more than 500 invertebrates - or "inverts" as she refers to them - kept in her household, she is practising what she preaches.
Just because dad or mum is allergic to cats or dogs, doesn't mean you can't have a pet and that's what I am advocating forZoe Jennings
Since she first looked after a friend's stick insect a few years ago, Ms Jennings has not looked back - and has an ever growing collection of the animals, which are all native to Australia.
As well as coming to country shows, she takes them to primary schools around the area to advocate on behalf of the insect and invertebrate world.
She's kind, she's gentle, she moves about as fast as a slothZoe Jennings
The Goliath stick insect, which is found in the wild in northern New South Wales and Queensland, is particularly child-friendly, Ms Jennings said.
"She's kind, she's gentle, she moves about as fast as a sloth," she said.
As well as challenging the preconceptions about insects that are traditionally feared - Ms Jennings also keeps spiders and scorpions - she is also determined to pass on a conservation message about the animals.
"With all the fires going on up there [in New South Wales and Queensland], I am really concerned," she said.
"If we lose our insects, our ecosystem will crash," she told The Courier.
Shortly she will be receiving a Lord Howe Island stick insect, which was once believed to be extinct. She plans to take the rare creature - which Sir David Attenborough once named as one of his favourite creatures - to Ballarat springfest later this month.
- Zoe Jennings will be at the Chez Guy Small Animal Rescue stall at the Ballarat Show this weekend.
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