Pet piranha bites off tip of toddler's finger

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A piranha bit off the end of a little girl's finger after she apparently put her hand into the aquarium.

The 18-month-old was at her home in Maine Township, Illinois when her parents heard her start to cry. They rushed over to find that her finger was bleeding — and then they discovered that the tip of her finger was actually missing.

Cook County Sheriff's Department spokesman Frank Bilecki told the Chicago Tribune that the couple at first thought she had been bitten by the family's pit bull. They called an ambulance and it was only after she was taken to the local hospital that a doctor realised the injury wasn't due to a dog bite.

Authorities called the child's father, who was still at the home, and he reportedly then grabbed one of two piranhas in the tank with his bare hands and cut it open with a knife. The missing piece of finger was inside the fish.

Surgeons were trying to re-attach the end of the little girl's finger but it's not known whether the operation was successful.

"The parents are truly distraught and freaked out by the incident," said Bilecki. "They appear to be good parents in an unfortunate situation."

They will not be facing any charges.

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