Antagonzing piranha... Maybe not a good idea

Pet bites are a big pDavid Brownroblem. Dogs bites in particular are far too common and can result in serious injury or even death in a small percentage of cases. Bites from other pet species also happen, but the extent of the problem is not clear. A good general rule is if it has a mouth, it can bite.

Another good general rule is if it has numerous sharp teeth, is a carnivore and your as upsetting it, you should get your hand out of the way. Pet store owner Dave Brown found this out the hard way, although in this situation he has the dubious distinction of having been bitten by a fish.

It seems that Mr. Brown was trying to catch a piranha that he was selling. I would have thought the standard way of catching a fish, not to mention a six-inch-long carnivorous fish, would be to use a net. Apparently not. Mr. Brown used piranhahis bare hands, and after a couple unsuccessful attempts to catch the fish, the piranha fought back, sinking his teeth into the store owner's thumb. The bite was severe enough that stitches were needed. According to Mr. Brown "There was blood everywhere. Every time I had him in a plastic bag the fish would bite through it. He was quite a feisty one." Personally, I think if a carnivorous fish was repeatedly trying to attack me through the bag, I'd probably change my approach to catching it.

According to a local fish expert, "[Mr. Brown] was very unlucky as these fish normally just attack when they're hungry. It may have been a bit peckish."

Fortunately, apart from a sore thumb, it sounds like the biggest problem Mr. Brown will face is the harassment that I assume he's going to take from friends after being bitten by a fish.

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cyan - January 29, 2010 9:30 AM

I've had my hand sliced by a couple of fish. The reason I don't say bitten is because if the fish really were in the attack mode I'd have lost a whole lot more than the scrapings I did lose. If a 6ft. nurse shark wants your hand trust me you won't have it any more. What I later came to fear was not the bite but the bacteria. Fish tubeculosis has been a rare but scary outcome of many industries including fish processing and aquarium industries. Even nipping a finger with a knife while preparing food can open you up to these infections. We usually soak the cut in hydogen peroxide.
Just so I don't come off as a cowboy I've been in the diving/ aquarium areas for over 40yrs and I've always felt safe in both open water and large tanks. I respect their incredible strength in a world in which I am only a visitor. The only mistake I've ever made is not paying attention. Realizing that these fish despite their individual and cute personalities are still wild creatures will keep you and the fish out of harms way.

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