Piranhas found in Yorkshire lake where ducks have vanished and children play

Fishermen have made a discovery stalking the waters of a lake in Doncaster – far removed from the likes of the River Amazon.

Regulars to Martinwells Lake in South Yorkshire believe the number of ducks and fish at the lake has reduced and wonder if the discovery two piranha can answer their questions.

Full-time mum Toni Hooper, 32, discovered them while on a family walk on Sunday.

A pirhana was discovered in a lake in South Yorkshire, leading to fears it had been eating the local wildlife (Picture: SWNS)
One theory is that they outgrew a tank and their owner abandoned them in the lake (Picture: SWNS)

She said: ‘When we realised what it was it sent shivers down my spine. This is a popular spot amongst families, dog walkers and fishermen. It’s always busy here.

‘There’s a play park nearby, so you get kids here paddling in the water, teenagers will go swimming here. You wouldn’t catch me going in the water.

‘We came here to feed the ducks and on Sunday we noticed there was only one duck and two ducklings, I’m concerned about where the wildlife is.

‘I’ve spoken to others who have said they’ve noticed there aren’t as many ducks.’

Her boyfriend Gary Walker, 34, who is currently out of work, often fishes at the site and said that he noticed the number of fish he catches from the former clay pit has reduced.

Lisa Holmes, 37, who was with her family when the fish were discovered said: ‘My partner is a fisherman and was looking around the edge of the lake when he suddenly spotted this fish floating near one of the pegs [fishing platform].

Davey White pictured with one of the piranha that was found at the lake in Doncaster (Picture: SWNS)
Regulars to the lake – a former clay pit – said they believed the number of ducks had reduced recently (Picture: SWNS)

‘He managed to get it out of the water and although he’s a keen angler, he wasn’t sure what type of fish it was straight away.

‘But then we started looking at it more closely and saw the teeth we realised it was a piranha.

‘We went home and Googled it and its quite clear its a piranha. It was quite a shock.

‘We couldn’t believe that we’d found a piranha fish. It’s not the kind of thing you expect to find in Doncaster.

‘We presume that it was a pet that someone no longer wanted and they have gone and dumped it in the lake.’

However, there may be an answer. Expert Helen Thompson said that piranhas attract a ‘certain type of pet lover’.

Teenagers often go swimming in the lake (Picture: SWNS)

But when the fish get too big for their tanks they take them to a local lake and dump them there instead.

She wrote in the Smithsonian magazine: ‘Obviously it’s never a good idea to release them into the wild, as the species could become invasive.’

Most piranha attacks on humans only result in minor injuries but they have been fatal.

In 2011, a drunk man, 18, was attacked and killed in Bolivia. A five-year-old Brazilian girl was attacked and killed by a shoal in 2015. And in 2016 a Brazilian girl died after her grandmother’s boat capsized during a family holiday.

Various stories exist about piranhas, such as how they can lacerate a human body or cattle in seconds and when American President Theodore Roosevelt visited Brazil in 1913, he was shown the power of piranhas when he went on a hunting expedition through the Amazon Rainforest.

While standing on the bank of the Amazon River, he witnessed a spectacle created by local fishermen.

After blocking off part of the river and starving the piranhas for several days, they pushed a cow into the water, where it was quickly torn apart by a school of hungry piranhas.


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