NANFA-- News - South American Piranha Fished from River Thames

Sajjad Lateef (
Fri, 20 Feb 2004 08:46:29 -0800 (PST)

Looks like the people on the other side of the pond have the
same problem that we do. -- Sajjad

South American Piranha Fished from River Thames

LONDON (Reuters) - Just when you thought it was safe to go back into
the water; a ferocious, carnivorous South American Piranha has been
fished from London's River Thames, the Environment Agency said on

The 10cm-long Red Bellied Piranha was dropped by a passing seagull onto
the deck of a boat built to oxygenate the river. The Thames was
declared "dead" in the 1960s but, its water cleaned, it is now home to
119 types of fish.

"It was very fresh and had obviously only just died. You could see the
marks made by the seagull's beak on its back," fisheries officer Tom
Cousins said.

Experts were quick to reassure Londoners they need not fear marauding
shoals of meat-eating fish. The reputation of the piranha is worse than
its bite and despite global warming, the Thames remains too cold to
support such warmwater fish.

"We imagine that it was probably released and then floated to the
surface where it was picked up by one of the very hungry seagulls and
deposited in the boat," London Aquarium curator Paul Hale said.


Sajjad Lateef   e-mail: 
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