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Piranha Discovered In UK's Devon River 18

Posted by samzenpus
from the nibble-the-toes dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "With razor-sharp teeth piranha, native to the Amazon basin, the Orinoco and the rivers of the Guyanas, are generally considered to be the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world with a voracious appetite for meat, able to strip the flesh of large animals within minutes when traveling in a shoal. So when members of the British Environment Agency were conducting a sampling trip in the East Okement tributary of the River Torridge, they were amazed to see a large tail emerge from the undercut bank on the far side of the river. 'What we actually discovered was something we would not expect to find in our wildest dreams — we could hardly believe our eyes,' says Eddie Stevens. 'Our first thought was that a sea trout had become lodged in amongst the rocks and debris collected under the bank, but when it was removed from the river we were speechless to find it was a piranha.' Tests carried out on the dead piranha revealed it had been eating sweet corn, which proved it must have been kept as a pet. The Environment Agency said it believes the piranha was alive when it was put in the river, possibly because at 35 cm it had become too big for its tank. 'Whilst piranhas can't survive the colder climates of the UK, this latest find highlights a real issue — that releasing unwanted exotic pets or plants into rivers can have serious consequences for native wildlife,' says spokesman Paul Gainey. 'Rather than dumping things in the wild, we would urge people to seek advice about what to do with exotic species.'"

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Piranha Discovered In UK's Devon River

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  • "British teeth" is apparently a fatal disease to the little buggers if left untreated.
    • "British teeth" is caused by the bland and generally tasteless food available in the region. Piranhas love to eat, which is why they generally will die off quickly if brought to the UK.
  • I wonder how many feral tarantulas and black widow spiders there are in the UK?

    Piranhas don't scare me because I don't swim in manky British rivers (and the weather's too cold).

  • Florida is about to be over-run by polar bears!
  • British piranhas [wikipedia.org] usually travel in pairs.

  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @09:13AM (#29273351) Journal
    I'm a tropical fishkeeper, it's more of a hobby to me than IT. And, frankly, more rewarding. I'm also a biker.

    All three hobbies have on thing in common, other hobbiests and commercial interests cause harm, and this reflects badly on me.. Consider:

    <soapbox>
    Fishkeepers who dump fish in nearby streams/ponds since having brought something in a shop to look 'hard' these inadequates bottle it when faced with reality, piranias and 'sharks' are classic for this.. both will grow sodding huge (think of needing 180+litres per fish!) but are sold by crappy retailers (pets@home, petco, walmart are particularly bad offenders in this) with apparently no qualms at all, profit must win at all costs.

    Same is (perversely) true for goldfish.. I get really angry at seeing these beautiful fish kept in tanks which are only twice as long as they are, in those conditions the fish are NOT fat because they are jolly. They are fat because they do not get proper exercise, and are overfed by their obese lardbucket know-nothing owners.

    Then you have the people in the trade who will happily poison/dynamite/extinct an entire ecosystem just to get a few valuable fish to sell through the trade. Google 'Live rock' and 'Galaxy Rasbora' for great examples of how a widely promoted commercially driven fad can cause massive damage to the original habitats.

    PS: Do not dump fish, it is antisocial and cruel. If you have to get rid of a fish do it with Alka-Seltza (small fish, CO2 is an anasethic for fish, but lethal in large doses) or a knife (big fish, sever the spinal cord, personally I've never had the guts for this). Any true fish retailer or hobbyist will help you with this (for a fee, consider it the price of your mistake). This applies DOUBLE for flushing them, unless you really think they like to slowly suffocate in shit.
    </soapbox>

    Also consider:
    Geeks who abuse the non-technical when they ask for help or report stupidities/bugs. Who spew buggy code and misconfigured systems and never, ever, admit fault or fix their screwups, causing millions of hour of wasted effort fixing things that should have been done correctly in the first place. Of course, by that time, the idiot who introduced the bugs is on his next great project puffing off to people about how leet he is, and how many lines of code he 'contributed', and how many 'posts' he's made in the forums last month. Meanwhile Joe public is dealing with another buffer overflow and wondering why, when he asked online about the problem he got called ignorant and stupid.

    Bikers who just cut through stuff and speed, no matter what the conditions, totally brain dead, driving their bikes like they would otherwise drive their Honda civics, all balls and no brains.) I get lumped in with them after they wipe-out. Irritating. Loud pipes too, not in built-up-areas... puh-leese. Note, there are old riders, and bold riders, but very few old bold riders.. But in this I'll accept I'm a wuss, at least with this one I do get it, adrenaline is the hardest drug to kick.
    -----------------------

    All the above have, at heart, the same problem. Selfish people who not only want it all for themselves but actively piss on others at the same time, for whom it is not enough to 'win', they must also actively create 'loosers;' too.. presumably since they are sexually dysfunctional.
    • The problem of humanely euthanizing sick fish has been discussed in the aquarium community. I haven't heard of the alkaseltzer method. 10% vodka in the fish water will euthanize a fish, though this works best / cheapest if the fish is small enough to fit in a cup.

      Several of my local fish stores are willing to accept fish for re-sale if you want to reduce your stock. You might get store credit or nothing at all, but you can get rid of the fish and it theoretically has a chance to go home with someone who

      • by EasyTarget (43516)
        Actually an overdose of proper fish anasthetic is the best, these can sometimes be had from animal supplies retailers, depends on the local regs. some places that depend on fish-farming have them. I've read the online stuff too, both vodka and alkalinity (from alka-seltza) burn gills, but the co2 is a powerful anasthetic and overwhelms them faster than alcohol. It's a tricky subject, lots of confusing advice out there. Round here if you want bad advice you probably go to Hornbach, but I'm priviliged to be i
    • by turgid (580780)

      Have you ever been fishing? Yank the fish out of the sea and it dies within a few minutes. Take it home, gut it and cook it. Fresh fish caught and eaten on the same day is delicious.

      • by EasyTarget (43516)

        Fresh fish caught and eaten on the same day is delicious.

        Could not agree more, but for the rest, methinks you are trolling (I only bothered replying because of that pun!), true fishermen use a club or knife. My grandpa always did anyway.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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