Four people found dead in Paraguay following piranha attacks

·1-min read
The country has seen a string of piranha attacks in recent weeks   (AFP via Getty Images)
The country has seen a string of piranha attacks in recent weeks (AFP via Getty Images)

Four people have been killed and more than 20 injured after a string of piranha attacks in Paraguay in recent weeks.

Two of the attacks took place in the Paraguay River, the fifth largest river in South America which runs through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.

A 22-year-old became the first victim since the New Year while bathing in the river on Sunday, January 2.

Friends raised the alarm and scrambled to find him after he mysteriously vanished.

His body was found 45 minutes later with bite marks and torn-off skin.

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

People fishing in the Paraguay River (AFP via Getty Images)
People fishing in the Paraguay River (AFP via Getty Images)

Doctors said the cause of death was drowning but the man had bites on his face and feet, according to local reports.

Two other people were also found dead last Saturday with piranha bites on their bodies in a part of the Tebicuary River.

The attacks have sparked alarm amongst locals as dozens of other reports have been filed of swimmers being bitten in other beaches such as the Bella Vista swimming club in Itapua.

Adrian Cardoza, a manager at the club, said they are looking to put chemicals into the water in a bid to keep the piranhas away.

Biologist Julio Capli warned swimmers in the area not to enter waters with submerged or floating plants.

This is where piranhas have their nests and are ready to attack to protect their eggs and young, he told ABC.

If a piranha does bite, Mr Capri said they will usually target the lower limbs.

Swimmers who do feel bites should get out of the water immediately and try not to alarm other people.

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