01 June, 2011, 19:04Published:
Giant piranha caught in Russia
Scientists in southern Russia are trying to solve a piranha puzzle.
Local fishermen have caught a second of the killer fish in just two weeks.
It is not clear how fish native to Latin America have turned up in the Rostov Region. One idea is that they were pets released into the river by the owner.
Scientists from the local fishing agency say they cannot have been raised in the wild. The piranhas are also normally warm-water loving, so it is not clear how they could live in Russia, as winter temperatures in the region drop to an average of -20 Celsius and can plunge much lower during cold snaps.
In any case, it is a good idea for the local authorities to make sure there are no more piranhas in the river. They plan to open an aqua park there later this year.
Back in 2009, piranhas were spotted in a reservoir in the cold Siberian region of Kemerovo. Biologists said the fish survived by staying close to the local hydropower plant. The hot water coming from it kept the temperature in a comfortable range.
Earlier, in 2008, a piranha was caught in Volgograd Region in Russia’s south, and in June 2006, two were fished out in the Novosibirsk Region in Siberia. Biologists say they stayed alive in summer and when winter came they became lethargic and died.