Fishermen at Bijasan Lake in Indore were in for a surprise when one of them caught a fish with unusually sharp teeth and powerful jaws on Thursday. The fish, weighing around eight to 10 kg, was confirmed to be a Piranha, an omnivorous fish, by the district fisheries department.
The predator fish, which is uncommon to the region, was handed over to the fisheries department, which later released it in a small pit near Bangarda.
As the department does not have any provision to conserve such an aggressive fish, it was released in the small waterhole, a source in the department said. He said the fish “is very frightening” and was not taken for conservation.
Confirming that it was for the first time that a Piranha was found in Indore, Kamla Nehru zoo in-charge, Uttam Yadav, said: “The Bijasan lake was given on lease to fisherman for breeding fish. They had brought thousands of fish seeds from Kolkata for rearing in the lake. The fish might have come in that lot.”
Piranhas are omnivorous freshwater fish and are indigenous to the Amazon basin, in the Orinoco, in rivers of the Guianas, in the Paraguay-Paraná, and the São Francisco River systems.
Piranhas have also been discovered in Kaptai Lake in southeast Bangladesh. Research is being carried out to establish how piranhas have moved to such distant corners of the world from their original habitat. Piranhas were also spotted in the Lijiang River in China recently.