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BACKPiranha found in Devon

Monday, 31 august 2009

One of the world's most ferocious fish has been found in a river in Devon.

The body of a piranha was found in a branch of the River Torridge by people surveying what fish were in the river.

Piranhas normally live in places like the Amazon in South America, and it's thought this one was a pet abandoned by its owner after outgrowing its tank.

Shoals of piranha are thought to be able to strip the meat from large animals in minutes, but there's no reason to worry about them in the UK.

They can't survive in Britain's cool waters, but the Environment Agency said this find highlighted a bigger problem. Spokesman Paul Gainey said: "Releasing unwanted exotic pets or plants into rivers can have serious consequences for native wildlife.

"Rather than dumping things in the wild, we would urge people to seek advice about what to do with exotic species."