Editorial: Bury piranhas in the back yard

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 14, 2006

The things people do!

Why do people even buy piranhas?

On Monday, four boys in Worthington spotted a piranha in the shallows of a drainage ditch near Lake Okabena. Nine-year-old William Somphanthabansouk, not knowing what kind of fish it was, snatched it up with his hands and stowed the South American visitor in his backpack.

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Later, the boys compared photos and found it was a piranha.

How did it get there?

The state Department of Natural Resources gets reports of exotic fish several times a year.

People don’t want to kill their aquarium fish, probably because the kids will be sad, and then they dump them into Minnesota waters. A few years ago a person fished one out of Fountain Lake. The tropical fish die when the winter comes.

Somphanthabansouk wasn’t bitten because a lone piranha is rather shy. They usually attack in packs. However, people do get bitten by lone piranhas in a lake, stream or even fountains from time to time.

Dumping piranhas into local waters is plain dumb. Be a responsible adult and make fertilizer out of your unwanted tropical fish.