Piranha sends Taiwan media into a frenzy

bdddfa12-1db3-473e-9408-eea0a845fa1f

Editor's Picks
 A perfect place for your Fighter to rest his little fins — the Betta Bed Leaf Hammock.
Gear Post
Review: Betta Bed Leaf Hammock
21 November 2017
 Just look at that little face... No wonder then, that so many fishkeepers find these little puffers so hard to resist.
Features Post
Join the puffer fish fan club!
28 September 2017
 Special care needs to be taken when catching Pictus catfish and other species with spines.
Features Post
Travels with your fish
03 August 2017


The media in Taiwan is reporting on a fisherman who says he caught a pregnant piranha in a local lake, leading to a frenzy of internet debate and a NT$1,000 bounty.

Online forums in Taitung City, in southeast Taiwan, are buzzing with the rumour that a local lake, called Flowing Lake, often used by swimmers, canoeists and anglers, may be full of piranhas.

Headlines across national media reported that a fisherman, Chiu, caught a piranha in May and said it was pregnant.

Internet users in Taitung are apparently struggling to get a grasp of the scale of the incident, however most remain skeptical.

Eric Hsu, a retired fighter pilot and regular of Flowing Lake, said he would not believe the rumours until he saw the fish himself.

He told the Taipei Times: "I haven't heard about anyone being hurt by piranhas so why not swim there."

Local authorities have formed a group charged with the task of catching any more of the supposed lake-dwellers, due to reported fears of the piranhas' hunting ability.

Although a large number of fisherman, perhaps attracted by the reward of NT$1,000, have flocked to the lake, no more piranha have been caught.

Now, people are looking at the upcoming Dragon Boat races. Last year a boat sank in the lake and organisers are now worried that more dramatic happenings may make viewers uncomfortable.

Lin Pai-lei, a fish researcher at Academia Sinica, commented on the possible lake residents' danger. He said: "The piranhas are not biting people now, this does not mean that they won't bite people later."

If piranha are actually living in Flowing Lake, there would be more of a danger to the local ecosystem than local residents.

A scientist has told the Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily that piranha are not native to Taiwan and specimens caught are most likely to have been released by aquarium owners.