China / Society

Fish in attack confirmed as piranha

By ZHENG JINRAN ( Updated: 2012-07-09 21:51

A fish that attacked a man when he was bathing his dog in the Liujiang River was confirmed to be a piranha on Monday.

Three of that type of exotic fish were seen in the river, one of which bit the left hand of the man and the finger of his friend in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Saturday afternoon. The other two fish escaped.

They were of the species Serrasalmus sanchezi, a kind of piranha. The exotic fish are mostly found in the Amazon River, an announcement released by the local government said on Monday.

"They may have been released by some residents who bought them to be ornamental fish," said Zhou Quan, an official from the local publicity department.

"But residents in this city have no need to worry about piranha in Liujiang River."

He said the fish's bites will not kill people. He also said they cannot live in water that is cooler than 15 C. So the chances of them surviving and reproducing in the Liujiang River are slim, the announcement said.

Authorities on Monday morning inspected local fish markets and found no piranha. The markets will be placed under stricter supervision to prevent more of the fish from entering the city. Moreover, residents will be encouraged to use nets and hooks to catch piranha.

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