A man and his son were on a fishing trip on Swedes Lake, New Jersey when they caught a strange-looking fish.
At first, Ron Rossi and his son Frank from Delran, Burlington County believed they had caught some sort of piranha fish. But because they had never seen one before, except on TV, they looked on the internet to see what species the fish they caught belonged to.
They were surprised to find that the fish was called a Pacu and was infamous for biting men’s testicles. Rossi said that they caught the Pacu fish and didn’t know what it was at first.
Rossi’s fishing friends didn’t think it was a piranha because they knew piranhas had very sharp, small teeth. According to Rossi, they pulled the fish’s bottom lip down to check its teeth and were surprised to see they looked very similar to human teeth.
They realized that what they had caught was a Pacu fish, which is closely related to the piranha and lives in the Amazonian regions. The Pacu fish feeds mostly on tree nuts and algae, but reports say that the fish has been known to attack male swimmers in the South American waters and bite their testicles.
This earned the fish the reputation of “ball-cutter”.
The Pacu fish can grow bigger that its piranha cousin, measuring up to 0.9 m and weighing close to 25 kg. Fish experts wander how did the Pacu fish end up in a New Jersey lake all the way from the Amazonian rivers. One of the plausible theories would be that some buy Pacu fish as exotic pets and throw them in the lake.
Rossi is worried that if there are many Pacu fish in the lake they could attack the swimmers and bite off their testicles. He said that there many people who swim in the lake every day, especially those who train for swimming marathons. Pacu fish were seen in other countries like Russia and Sweden.
In 2013, fish experts warned Swedish men not to swim naked in the water where a fisherman previously caught a Pacu fish. Lawrence Hajna, from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, said that most people confuse the Pacu fish with piranhas often, but the Pacus have teeth for grinding, not for biting.
They feed on nuts that fall in the rain forest rivers, which is why some say they also attack the male genitalia.
Image Source: thesun.co.uk