Ukraine Lakes And Rivers Searched For Piranhas

KIEV, Ukraine -- A piranha search was on in dozens of Ukrainian lakes Wednesday as officials tried to determine how many of the aggressive South American fish were swimming in the former Soviet republic’s waters, Deutsche Presse-Agentur agency reports.

Marine biologists discovered a piranha school in the Kasianka Lake in Ukraine’s eastern Dnepropetrovsk region earlier this week.

Since then reports that hundreds of the carnivorous fish had taken up residence elsewhere has dominated the country’s news.

A full-scale search of all lakes and waterways in the Dnepropetrovsk region began Wednesday.

The netting and trawling program, headed up by wildlife experts of the Dnepropetrovsk regional council, would ’capture and destroy all the carnivores without exception,’ said Volodymyr Alekhin, a government spokesman.

Piranha-related reports were prominent in most major Ukrainian media on Wednesday. The popular Fakty newspaper was typical, featuring a front page splashed with a photo of three toothy piranha chasing hapless goldfish, and the headline: ’The aggressive fish have already attacked two fishermen and killed off the lake’s muskrats, ducks, and snakes.’

Five of the Amazonian fish, all small, were netted by Kasianka Lake fishermen on Monday and Tuesday. Two piranha bit their captors, inflicting minor injuries.

The competing Sehodnia newspaper offered readers a color photograph of an actual captured Kasianka Lake piranha, and interviews with local fishermen.

Although believed to be present in the lake since early spring, the piranha ignored lures of sports fishermen set for local pike and gar, said fishing expert Ihor Ushchakovsky.

Editorials generally blamed lax government control over the country’s pet industry, and the low cost of the fish (five to ten dollars each) to potential pet owners.

An owner unwilling to take care of the fish probably dumped them into the lake, where they apparently were free to multiply, Dnepropetrovsk police said.

Besides fishing to cull the population, the Dnepropetrovsk ’anti-piranha’ action plan called for increased government monitoring of open-air markets, where most pets in the region are bought and sold. The markets operate without effective regulation.

Source: MosNews


This is simply too hilarious. Imagine crocodiles in the Hudson river or something alike. Chances that the pirahnas would survive are so small that one wonders why it has caused such alarm. Funny anyway.