Piranha-Like 'Testicle Biter' Caught in Michigan

Pacu was probably released from aquarium

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 16, 2014 1:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – A woman fishing on the Michigan side of Lake St. Clair last week caught an unusual—and by some accounts, terrifying—fish more commonly found in South America. "When it first came up, I’m like, 'Holy crap,'" Holley Luft tells Fox News. "And just as I was ready to get it out of the net, my husband said 'I think it’s a piranha.' So I dropped the fish and when I did, the hook came out of his mouth. At first we couldn’t believe it—we were flabbergasted." She had caught a pacu, a cousin of the piranha that some claim have a reputation for biting off testicles.

The pacu has square, human-like teeth instead of the piranha's pointy teeth and while the one Luft caught was 15 inches long and weighed two pounds, they can reach up to 55 pounds in the wild, the Detroit Free Press reports. State experts believe it was released into the lake by a pet owner, and would never have survived the winter. When one was caught off the coast of Sweden last year, a museum expert told the Local that while it "normally eats nuts, fruit, and small fish ... human testicles are just a natural target." He later admitted he was joking, though there have been cases of pacus biting fingers.

This pacu is now in Luft's freezer.
This pacu is now in Luft's freezer.   (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
Chomp.
Chomp.   (Natural History of Museum)
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