Testicle-eating fish in the Seine

Fisherman calls in Paris river police after relative of piranha mangles his fishing tackle

3 September 2013

A FISHERMAN on the Seine in Paris has caught a large fish that is related to the piranha – and is feared in its Amazonian home as a “testicle eater”.

River police were called in when the fisherman caught the fish, which he had thought was a carp or a catfish.

But when he saw the sharp teeth and the way that they had mangled his hook and fishing tackle he contacted the police.

They said it was a “pacu” a type of piranha which lives in freshwater in South America and especially the Amazon.

Although it is essentially vegetarian, it is an omnivore said to be feared by river-dwellers who say that it can confuse testicles for nuts fallen into the water from trees.

Fully-grown, the pacu can measure just 10cm short of one metre and weigh in at 25kg.

The Seine specimen was not as large as this and is thought to have been an exotic pet that grew too large for a home aquarium. Another one was fished out of the Canal Saint-Martin last summer. Just weeks before river police fished a python from the Seine.
Photo: © Préfecture de police - Tous droits réservés

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