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Extremely Aggressive Piranhas Kill Four Swimmers and Injure 20 Others

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Four swimmers have been killed in a series of attacks by piranhas in Paraguay in recent days, while at least 20 others were injured. It is not clear why the fish are so aggressive.

 

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, but a search by emergency services turned up only the man’s dead body 45 minutes later.

A 49-year-old man also 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. Forensics revealed that he too was suspected of being attacked by piranhas, which mainly targeted the man’s face.

After that, two more people are said to have been killed in the Tebicuary River near Villa, Florida. Their bodies were also found with bite marks from piranhas.

There have also been many reports of swimmers being injured in attacks by piranhas in recent days. For example, seven swimmers were bitten on New Year’s Day on the beach of a swimming club in Itapua. They are now considering pouring chemicals into the water to keep the fish away.

It is unusual for piranhas to be so aggressive. According to biologist Julio Javier Capli, piranhas can hide in vegetation before attacking. Those attacks are most likely during the breeding season or in warm weather when the water level in the rivers is low. Piranhas usually move in groups. The males attack threats to defend the young.

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