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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February 2004, 00:26 GMT
Killer fish hits boat in Thames
Red-bellied piranha
The piranha was discovered in east London
A killer fish has been found on the Thames in London - more than 5,000 miles (8,046km) from its tropical home in the Amazon River in South America.

A seagull is thought to have dropped the carnivorous, razor-toothed, red-bellied piranha on to a boat's deck.

It had only just died, with marks from the seagull's beak still on its back.

It is believed its owner had released it into the river - but the fish cannot survive for more than a few days in temperatures below 15C (59F).

The piranha landed on the Thames Bubbler at Halfway Reach, Dagenham, East London.

Owned by Thames Water, the boat pumps oxygen to keep the river's 119 types of fish alive.

The Environment Agency said it was an offence to release non-native species into the wild.




SEE ALSO:
Piranha increase 'due to dams'
28 Dec 03 |  Science/Nature
China orders piranhas destroyed
24 Dec 02 |  Asia-Pacific
US acts over predatory fish
23 Jul 02 |  Americas


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