- A piranha-like fish known as a pacu was found in a neighborhood pond in Oklahoma on Saturday.
- An 11-year-old boy fishing with his parents caught the fish, which has human-like teeth.
- The Oklahoma wildlife department was not impressed. “How dare you,” they scolded who dumped the fish.
A piranha-like fish has been found in a neighborhood pond in Oklahoma, and the local wildlife department is furious.
“Dear, whoever released a whole Pacu (a South American fish closely related to the Piranha) into a neighborhood pond; how dare you,” Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation tweeted on Tuesday.
—Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (@OKWildlifeDept) July 18, 2023
“Charlie Clinton caught your fish. It’s 11,” write the departmentwarning that the Pacu is an “alien, invasive species”.
“These fish are usually harmless to humans, but the practice of dumping unwanted pets in waterways is so harmful to native wildlife. Don’t own that pet. Don’t let it loose,” he said.
Clinton found the specimen at a catch-and-release pond in the Grove, a neighborhood in northeastern Oklahoma.
“It’s not every day that your son illegally catches an invasive fish in our neighborhood pond,” Janna Clinton, the boy’s mother, wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
She added that her family noticed that the fish appeared to have human teeth, and reported it to local authorities before returning it to the pond.
“We had no clue before it was posted on our neighborhood page that it was invasive, or I wouldn’t have let it go back (failure on my part),” Clinton said.
Pacus is typically found in the Amazon, tropical Asia, and parts of Western Europe.
Although they are related to piranhas, they do not have the sharp teeth of their cousins. Instead, a pacus has square, straight teeth, and can grow to be much larger than a piranha.
A black pacu caught in Peru in 2013 45 inches long and weighing almost 82 pounds.
Pacus love to eat tree nuts that fall into the water, prompting a Danish professor to joke in 2013 that the fish likes to peck testicles – a shout that people took seriously for a while. But these fish are usually afraid of humans and are not known to attack swimmers, per National Geographic.
People responding to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife’s tweet on Tuesday mostly noted the PACu’s jaw and its human-like teeth.
“WHY DO HUMANS HAVE TEETH,” wrote one.
“IDK WE DIDN’T MAKE THEM,” the department replied.