Four people found dead in Paraguay covered in piranha bites

By Joe Middleton

The bodies of four people have been recovered from rivers in Paraguay covered in piranha bites.

On Tuesday, the body of a 49-year-old man was discovered in the Paraguay River, near the town of Puerto Rosario.

Doctors said the cause of death was drowning but the man had bites on his face and feet, as reported by La Nacion. The man had been reported missing hours earlier to police.

A 22-year-old man was found in the same river on Sunday, south of the capital Asuncion. His family reportedly saw him disappear from view while he was bathing.

The young man’s face and some of his limbs showed piranha bites after his body was recovered.

Two other people were also found dead last Sunday in a section of the Tebicuary River and had piranha bites.

There have been other alleged attacks, including a dozen swimmers who were bitten at the Bella Vista Hunting and Fishing Club in Itapua on New Year’s Day.

And at a spa in Villa Ygatimi, in Canindeyú, a number of people bathing in the Jejuimi river were attacked by the fish.

Piranha attacks on humans are rare but the fish do tend to be more aggressive during breeding season, which falls between October and March.

Biologist Héctor Vera told La Nacion that male piranhas will try and protect their young so will be more aggressive during this period.

However, he added that the fish will normally bite the ankle or toes, unlike the reported cases where individuals were bitten on the face and limbs.

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