Four swimmers have been killed in a series of piranha attacks in Paraguay in recent days, while at least 20 others have been injured. It is not clear why the fish are aggressive.
GVsource: The mirror, no nasion
A 22-year-old man died after being attacked by piranhas while swimming in the Paraguay River, south of the capital, Asuncion, on Jan. 2. His family saw the man disappear under water. A search by emergency services only yielded the man’s body 45 minutes later.
A 49-year-old man died while swimming in the same river in the village of Puerto Rosario. His body was found with bite marks after the man was reported missing. Forensic medicine revealed that it is believed that he was also attacked by piranhas that targeted the man’s face.
Subsequently, two more people were killed in the Teppicari River near Villa Florida. Their bodies were also found with bite marks from piranhas.
There have also been numerous reports of swimmers being injured in piranha attacks in recent days. For example, seven swimmers were bitten on New Year’s Day at the beach of a swimming club in Itapua. They are now considering pouring chemicals into the water to keep the fish out.
It is unusual for piranhas to be so aggressive. According to biologist Julio Javier Capli, piranhas can hide in vegetation before attacking. These attacks are most likely during the breeding season, or in warm weather when the water level in rivers is low. Piranhas usually move in groups. Males attack threats to defend the young.