Piranhas plague Brazilian beach

18th Nov 2011
Written by: Mary Short

Piranhas plague Brazilian beach

It’s the storyline from a bad film but tourists have been attacked by flesh-eating piranhas on a Brazilian beach.

Up to 15 people were attacked on Daveron beach with one swimmer losing the tip of their toe.

The Daveron beach in Caceres is a popular spot with visitors, so authorities are insisting the beach stays open for tourism sake.

According to Sky News, Elson de Campos Pinto, 22, who was bitten, said: “I took a dip in the river and when I stood up, I felt pain in my foot.

“I saw that I had lost the tip of my toe. I took off running out of the river, afraid that I would be further attacked because of the blood. I'm not going back in for a long time.”

One local fisherman, who has caught piranhas for years in areas around Daveron beach, said: “I come here with my kids and I always see blood on the river banks.

"The worst is that the attacks are in shallow water, next to the bank."

Despite making his living off the river, Mr Alves left no doubt about his feelings for the water. 'I would never even think of going in there,' he added.

Gonzaga Junior, a spokesman for the city government, said: “Everyone knows there are piranhas in the region and have always taken the necessary precautions.

“What is different this time is that they've appeared where they never appeared before.”

If you’re on a gap year in and around Brazil, then watch out for Piranhas. Piranha attacks are rare; don’t let it put you off going to Brazil / the Pantanal/ the Amazon.

For more information on South America then read Hannah Simmon’s Guide to South America. There are quite a few tips in there (no toes though…)

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