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segunda-feira, 26 de setembro de 2011

#travel #news Piranhas Attack 100 Beach Goers In Brazil

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 9/26/11 12:56 PM ET Updated: 9/26/11 03:40
Remember that so-bad-it's-almost-good movie from last summer where crowds of scantily-clad spring breakers were viciously attacked by a swarm of piranhas at lake Victoria?
Fiction quickly turned to a horrifying reality (though not nearly as horrifying as in Piranha 3-D) for around 100 beach goers in Brazil last weekend, Breitbart reported.
The throngs of bathers were treated at a hospital in Jose De Freitas for bites on their heels and toes from piranhas at a local beach.
Since there is nothing to challenge their position in the food chain in the northeast Brazilian waters, local environmental official Romildo Mafra told UOL Noticias the flesh-eating fish have taken to preying on humans. So far, introducing 100,000 tilapia to the local food chain as an alternative is one solution environmentalists are testing.
According the article, the attacks have been going on for two months.

Piranha beach: 100 swimmers bitten in one weekend after explosion in dangerous fish population

By Chris Slack

Last updated at 10:57 PM on 26th September 2011
A beach in Brazil has been attacked by piranhas that have injured more than 100 people.
Visitors to the inland Barragem do Bezerro dam, close to the town of Jose de Freitas in the Piaui province, were left with bitten heels and toes after the predators attacked due to a lack of food.
Some needed hospital treatment for their injuries in the state capital of Piaui, around 50km from the site.
Attack: 100 people have bitten by piranhas at the Barragem do Bezerro Dam in Brazil
Attack: 100 people have bitten by piranhas at the Barragem do Bezerro Dam in Brazil
A spokesman for the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources said that the piranhas were both adult and fingerlings.
Romildo Mafra added that the attack happened because of a lack of predators for the fish and their quest for food.
The area has been beset by problems in recent months due to the fish, who are in abundance at the damn.
Authorities have attempted to control them by placing 100,000 tilapia into the water to both attack the piranhas and act as food.
They hope to control the population with a further 200,000 fish being added including peacock bass in the next two months.
There have also been schemes to educate the public who visit the site with one teaching swimmers not to throw food into the water.
They have also allowed anglers to fish for the animal in an attempt to reduce the stocks further.
Statistics from the dam show that more than 1,000 were caught in the 40 days that fishing was allowed.
Overpopulated: Piranhas numbers at the damn have boomed because of a lack of predators
Overpopulated: Piranhas numbers at the damn have boomed because of a lack of predators
Mr Mafra told the Brazilian UOL news channel that a lack of tilapia and peacock bass, were one of the main factors in the large numbers of piranhas.
The fish are predators of the eggs of the fish, while the fry of both provide food for piranhas.
He said: 'People have a bias to feed the piranhas. In addition, fishermen are not interested in fishing  them because this type of fish destroys the networks and causes damage.
'They end up just catching peacock bass and tilapia that upset the natural balance of the dam. Without natural predators, this increases the number of piranhas.'
Piranha attacks on humans are rare and while they occasionally bite and injure swimmers, a bite is considered more an act of carelessness than misfortune.


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