Undeterred Argentineans returned to the beach today where as many as 70 people were injured Wednesday after a pack of piranha attacked dozens of swimmers in a river, even biting off one girl’s fingers.
Officials say the beach, located on the shores of Argentina’s second largest city, Rosario, was packed with thousands of bathers because of soaring heat above 100 degrees. The heat wave is also being blamed for drawing the piranha.
It was one of the worst attack in recent memory, although piranha attacks were recorded in South America as recently as 2011 when a school of them gorged on about 100 bathers in Brazil. Piranha killed a Bolivian fisherman that year who police say committed suicide by throwing himself in a river he knew was infested with piranha.
Pound for pound, a piranha’s bite is more powerful than a great white shark’s and three times stronger than an alligator’s. The carnivorous fish can also smell blood from up to 2 miles away.
The piranha in Argentina couldn’t deter swimmers at the beach. They came right back today.