Close-up frontal view of a piranha.
South American natives use piranha teeth to make weapons. (Photo Credit: Public Domain/KoS/Wikipedia)

At least 100 Brazilian beach-goers experienced flesh-eating attacks last weekend, reports UOL Notícias. The marks came from the razor-sharp teeth of a school of 10-inch, 3-pound piranha. Medical officials from the Jose de Freitas hospital in the Brazilian state of Piaui note that this isn’t the first time that the underwater predators have terrorized area swimmers.

Piranha target horrified swimmers

Like the aquatic predators who fed upon spring break teens at Lake Victoria in the horror film “Piranha 3D,” the piranha of Piaui appeared to be looking for a food, reports Agence France-Presse. This has sparked local authorities to take action, as only lasting remedies for the area’s piranha overpopulation will save the skins of those brave enough to go into the water.

No natural predators

Local environmental official Romildo Mafra told UOL that because piranha often have no natural predators to keep them in check, fish and game officers have added 100,000 tilapia fish to the local food chain in order to keep the piranha’s appetites in check. So far, the blood lust remains.

“Since they have no predators, piranhas have started attacking people on the beach,” said Mafra.

Can piranha skeletize a cow?

To borrow and adapt the words of the current U.S. president, “Yes, they can.”

While scientists may dispute the claim, a former U.S. president insists that a school of piranha can rend cow flesh from bone in a matter of minutes. Theodore Roosevelt claims that when he was on a hunting expedition in Brazil in 1913, he saw a cow standing in the Amazon River dissolve into a boiling froth of water, blood and organ meat. Only a skeleton arose from the piranha frenzy.

“They are the most ferocious fish in the world,” Roosevelt wrote. “[T]hey will snap a finger off a hand incautiously trailed in the water; they mutilate swimmers — in every river town in Paraguay there are men who have been thus mutilated; they will rend and devour alive any wounded man or beast; for blood in the water excites them to madness.”

‘Piranha 3D’ movie trailer

Sources

AFP: http://www.france24.com/en/20110925-piranha-problem-takes-bite-out-brazilian-beach-fun

How Stuff Works: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/fish/piranha-eat-cows.htm

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/26/piranhas-attack-100-beach-goers_n_981410.htmla

UOL Notícias: http://bit.ly/pTgtJc

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