Leech farming in Russia
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Russian leech farm supplies doctors who trust an ancient therapy

Leech farming in Russia
Mother leeches in the mating section at the farm in Udelnaya, Russia, near Moscow. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
Leech farming in Russia
A worker checks on the condition of the leeches. The Udelnaya farm sells them to medical clinics for about $1.50 apiece. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
Leech farming in Russia
Rows of leeches in jars. On feeding day, the leeches get blood supplied by slaughterhouses in the area. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
Leech farming in Russia
A leech tender smiles as she checks on her slimy charges.  (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
Leech farming in Russia
Yelena Titova, head of quality control at the farm, inspects a jar. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
Leech farming in Russia
All of the leech tenders in Udelnaya are women. It’s no job for men, says quality control chief Yelena Titova, because they lack the motherly instinct. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
Leech farming in Russia
A hand dipped into a jar comes up leeches. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
Leech farming in Russia
A monument to the leech in the courtyard of the farm. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)
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