The government of Liuzhou, in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, are offering a reward of 1,000-yuan ($157) to anyone who catches a “sharp-snouted piranha” in a local river, the Global Times reports.
The bounty comes after a number of residents were attacked in China’s Liujiang River by the flesh-eating fish, native to Amazon and the Paraguay rivers in South America.
Quite why the fish are there is anyone’s guess — there are rumours that a local aquarium may have dumped the fish into the river — but the piranhas are very real, and have locals perplexed.
The Guardian’s Tania Branigan spoke to one victim:
Zhang Kaibo, from Liuzhou in the south-west Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, said he needed stitches in his hand after three of the fish attacked him as he washed his dog in the river. He managed to grab one, but it died shortly after he took it home.
“Later on, my mum cut it into pieces and we planned to eat it. [But] some local officials came to my home and collected it to study,” he said.
The reward has prompted a large number of fishermen to take up the challenge along the banks of the Liujiang, but so far no piranha has bit (though a large number of other fish have, according to reports). The fishermen are only being given a week to catch the fish, and it is expected that the piranhas will die before they can breed as the temperature drops.
Chinese media has multiple pictures of the fish and the wounds they’ve inflicted, and they certainly look terrifying, but our favourite picture is definitely the elaborate system to hang pork over the river designed by one eager piranha hunter featured on the Global Times site.
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