Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 9, 2017
Authorities seek ways of deterring hikers from Mount Albion Falls
The “meat-loving” marine creature that ate at the legs of a Melbourne Australia teenager has been identified as a flesh-eating sea flea, known as a lysianassid amphipod.
Marine biologist Dr Genefor Walker-Smith said the creatures, which left 16-year-old Sam Kanizay with significant bleeding from his legs, were a small, scavenging crustacean that usually fed on dead fish or sea birds.
Amphipods are related to shrimp and prawns but are smaller in size, ranging from 6-13mm. They are not venomous and their bites do not cause any lasting damage.
They are commonly known as sea fleas or sea lice, although Walker-Smith noted that sea lice was more commonly used to refer to isopods, a different type of crustacean.
Kanizay said on Monday he was soaking his legs at Brighton beach when he felt the creatures attack, causing wounds that would not stop bleeding.
“By the time walked across the sand about 20 metres … I looked down and noticed that I had blood all over my ankles and feet,” he said. (Source: The Guardian)
Meanwhile, Hamilton fire prevention officer Steve McArthur said a total of 10 hikers needed assistance getting out of Albion Falls after an “excessive amount of water” came Monday afternoon. No one was injured, he said.
Albion Falls has been at the centre of the public and political backlash lately over people ignoring safety warnings and trespassing.
This has led the city to bolster safety features, including adding $75,000 worth of fencing and increasing ticketing enforcement of trespassers. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)