Flesh-eating piranhas infest river

21 November 2011 09:29

Tourists and locals enjoying a beach in Brazil have been been bitten by flesh-eating piranhas

Tourists and locals enjoying a beach in Brazil have been been bitten by flesh-eating piranhas

Holidaymakers enjoying a dip in western Brazil got a nasty surprise when they realised the water was infested with flesh-eating piranhas.

Tourists drawn to the picturesque city of Caceres in Mato Grosso bit off more than they could chew when they entered the Daveron beach on the Paraguay river.

Elson de Campos Pinto, 22, told Globo TV's G1 website: "I took a dip in the river and when I stood up, I felt pain in my foot. I saw that I had lost the tip of my toe.

"I took off running out of the river, afraid that I would be further attacked because of the blood. I'm not going back in for a long time."

City officials intend to keep the beach open as it pulls in tourists to Brazil's Pantanal region, known for its ecotourism.

Some 15 swimmers are believed to have been bitten so far.

The skin-crawling tale serves as a reminder to tourists to take out comprehensive travel insurance before they depart. Accidents can happen in the most unlikely of places.

Firefighter Raul Castro de Oliveira told the G1 website:"People have got to be very careful. If they're bitten, they've got to get out of the water rapidly and not allow the blood to spread".

The thousands of piranhas now dominating the water are believed to have began schooling a fortnight ago.

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