The slimy eel-like creature known as a sea lamprey happens to be the special ingredient in a traditional English pie that will be cooked up for Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her reign in June, reports the Detroit Free Press. But the animals are endangered and protected in England, so British officials have sent a request to a region of the states where the ugly critters swim wild and are seen as a menace: the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission has already shipped two pounds of frozen sea lampreys, taken out of Lake Huron, to the United Kingdom. "We would prefer to send them truckloads of lamprey," says a spokesman of the invasive species that preys on native fish. In England, however, they are an archaic delicacy, and a tradition calls for the City of Gloucester to send a lamprey pie to Buckingham Palace on special royal occasions.