Alarm has been raised in Paraguay by a series of piranha attacks in recent days leaving four bathers dead and more than 20 others injured with it unusual for the fish to be so aggressive
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Four bathers have been killed and over 20 people injured in a spate of ferocious piranha attacks causing alarm in Paraguay.
A 22-year-old man died after he was badly bitten by the predators as he swam in the Paraguay river, south of the capital Asuncion, at Itá Enramada on January 2.
His family saw him disappear from view and contacted the police leading to a search that lasted 45 minutes before his badly bitten body was found.
It is unusual for piranhas to be so aggressive and yet there have been numerous attacks in the region.
A 49-year-old man was also killed in the Paraguay river, in the town of Puerto Rosario, with his body found with bite wounds after he was reported missing.
Forensic examinations confirmed that he had most probably been attacked by piranhas in the water who targeted his face.
Then two people where killed in the Tebicuary river, Villa Florida, in Misiones, with their bodies found with piranha bites, reported La Nacion.
There have also been many other reports of swimmers being bitten with more than seven reported on just New Year’s Day on the beach at the Bella Vista swimming club in Itapua.
Adrian Cardoza, a manager at the club, said they are looking at using chemicals to put in the water to keep the piranhas away.
Biologist Julio Javier Capli told outlet ABC.com.py that piranhas can hide behind floating vegetation in rivers before attacking people.
He said they are most likely to attack during the breeding season but also in hot weather when the water level in rivers is low.
Piranhas normally move around in groups and it is the male piranha that normally attacks to protect their young while the bites are underwater with the predator not jumping as is often shown in terror films.