ARGENTINA: TEN PEOPLE ATTACKED BY PIRANHAS – Piranhas are well known to have a voracious appetite for meat and once again at least ten people in Argentina have fallen foul to their ravenous feeding habits.
These recent victims fell foul to an attack in the same river which a number of swimmers last month experienced, leaving authorities concerned as to the growing Piranha population.
As temperatures soar in Argentina, reaching a sweltering 41C many people are turning to the Parana River in Rosario, some 186 miles north-east of Buenos Aires, in order to cool off but at this time of year, when the weather is hot and natural food sources for the Piranhas becomes scarce they will inevitably turn on anything that moves with often devastating consequences.
This particular species of Piranha is known as Palometas (Pygocentrus palometa, a species of piranha) and is widely famous as being a rapacious meat eater and if human flesh is on the menu they’ll happily gorge themselves.
Since last Thursday some seventy people have reported being bitten by a shoal of Piranha, leaving many locals extremely worried about entering the water.
During the last attack a 7 year old girl lost part of her finger whilst another swimmer suffered a series of deep wounds to her feet and lower legs.
Palometas, whilst a species of Piranha, takes on a different appearance to most other species in that they have very large sharp teeth that can inflict serious wounds; in 2008 over forty swimmers were attacked in Rosario in what was described as a mass-attack by a huge shoal of Palometas.
Scientists are not completely sure as to how many species of Piranha there are but estimate anywhere between thirty to sixty with sizes ranging from 14cm to 26cm; it has however been reported that one particular species was discovered measuring a formidable 43cm in length.
Local authorities have advised people to refrain from swimming in the river and advise anyone who does enter to do so with extreme caution and not to cause too much splashing as this appears to attract the carnivorous fish.