Piranha wreak havoc on Christmas bathers in Argentina

Julianne Cassidy

Piranha wreak havoc on Christmas bathers in Argentina

Julianne Cassidy
CREATED Dec. 27, 2013

Argentines beat the heat of Christmas by cooling off in the Parana River, only to be savagely attacked by a squad of piranha. More than 70 people had torn flesh, including a 7-year-old girl who had her finger partially amputated. 

"Director of lifeguards, Federico Cornier, said Thursday that thousands of bathers were cooling off from 100-degree temperatures in the Parana River in Rosario on Wednesday, when bathers suddenly began complaining of bite marks on their hands and feet. He blamed the attack on palometas, a type of piranha, big, voracious, and with sharp teeth that can really bite," the Associated Press explains.

"Pound for pound, a piranha's bite is more powerful than a great white shark's and three times stronger than an alligator's. The carnivorous fish can also smell blood from up to two miles away."

Although the beach was closed soon after, bathers returned to the water less than half an hour later due to the unbearable heat. The heatwave is said to be the reason for the piranha to currently be so close to the surface.

"It was one of the worst attacks in recent memory, although piranha attacks were recorded in South America as recently as 2011 when a school of them gorged on about 100 bathers in Brazil. Piranha killed a Bolivian fisherman that year who police say committed suicide by throwing himself in a river he knew was invested with piranha," reports ABC News.

 

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