3 Bathers Bitten In Attacks From Piranha Relative

These are the shocking wounds inflicted on river bathers in attacks from a school of carnivorous fish related to piranhas.

The attacks on three bathers took place in the Rambla Catalunya area of the Parana river in the city of Rosario, in the northern Argentina province of Santa Fe.

Credit: CEN
The injuries caused by the fish

Local media report at least three bathers were treated for injuries sustained to their legs and feet.

According to experts, the river level having gone down, the high temperature of the water and the spawning of silver mylossoma (Mylossoma duriventre), a freshwater fish related to the piranha and known locally as the palometa, could have caused the attacks.

In the photos, a chunk of one victim’s foot appears to have been ripped out and another image shows a smaller cut in a similar area of the body of a different victim. The attacks are believed to have been carried out by silver mylossoma.

Rogelio Gramajo, a member of the Union of Lifeguards of Rosario, said that at this time of the year “the palometa spawns and the number of animals in each part of the river increases”.

Credit: CEN
An illustration of a silver mylossoma

Gramajo added the attacks could be linked with dropping water levels in the Parana river. He said bathers should not be “reckless” and avoid going into the water in non-authorised areas.

Andres Sciara, the director of the Aquario River Parana in Rosario said that silver mylossoma gather in low waters and this increases the likelihood of attacks.

In 2013 the fish attacked 60 bathers in Rosario with one girl having to have half of her finger amputated.

The silver mylossoma lives in tropical and subtropical South America. It can grow up to 25 centimetres (10 inches) in length and weigh up to one kilogram (2.2 lbs). It is a member of the Serrasalmidae family which also contains piranha.


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Story By: Ana LacasaSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

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