CANADA: A Surfeit of Lampreys

Soon after she plunged into the water for her record swim across Lake Ontario last summer, Toronto's Marilyn Bell felt a gnawing sensation at her middle. A sea lamprey, one of millions of the slimy, eellike creatures that infest the Great Lakes, had sunk its teeth through her bathing suit, and was trying to attach its bloodsucking mouth to her body. It was as bad a moment as Marilyn had in the whole 21-hour ordeal. "I struck hard at it with my hand," she said later, "and my blow knocked it off."


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