South American 'Nutcracker' Fish Found in Paris

Known for its dangerous bite

nutcracker pacu seine river paris testicles bite

    Photo: Alamy

The Brazilian pacu fish, better known by its nickname, the Nutcracker, has been found Paris’s River Seine. The omnivorous fresh-water fish, mostly found in South America, is closely related to the piranha and can grow up to several feet long and 55 pounds in the wild.

A Paris fisherman called the river police after reeling in one of the frightening creatures last Friday morning. The fish was likely dumped in the river by an exotic aquarium owner after it had outgrown its tank. “He sent us an image of the picture through his smart phone and it turned out to be a Pacu,” said a police spokesman. “It is a fish with a very dangerous bite.”

Unlike their piranha cousins, the pacu have square, almost human-looking teeth, and a reputation for biting the dangling testicles of swimmers. When a pacu was found in Denmark last month, authorities consulted Copenhagen University professor Peter Rask Moller, who advised swimmers to “keep their pants on until we know if there are more of these fish out in our brackish waters.”

If there are more pacu in the Seine, they will likely die off as temperatures begin to drop.

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