CNC report from Liuzhou
Added On July 11, 2012
Residents in China's southern Liuzhou city are being offered high rewards to catch the red-belly piranhas that attacked local swimmers in the river, days before.
Its the first time that piranhas have been spotted in the country....
China Report has the story.
The hunting order comes after Liuzhou City government in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region held an emergency meeting following unprecedented weekend piranha attacks.
Zhang Kaibo, a resident of Liuzhou, was bitten by at least three red-belly piranhas on Saturday while washing his dog in the river.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE): ZHANG KAIBO, LIUZHOU RESIDENT
"Suddenly, I felt the pain and tried to get rid of the fish, but one clung on my palm until I hit it off on a rock."
Part of Zhang's palm was bitten off by the fish.
Wu Rihua, Zhang's friend, was also injured.
A piranha bit one of his thumbs as he played with the fish in a net.
Zhang and Wu were attacked by three fish. Images of the fish and Zhang's injured palm caused a stir on the internet, raising concern over the illegal entry of alien fish into the country.
Piranhas are native to the Amazon. It is among the most dangerous species in South America, attacking both animals and humans.
The appearance of piranhas in the Liujiang River shocked residents of the city as well as people across the country.
Investigators say the piranhas were likley released into the river by residents who bought them as ornamental fish...
Selling piranhas is illegal.
But a shopkeeper at a local fish store says some pet shops are selling piranhas smuggled in from Guangzhou for just 80 U.S. cents a fish...
Local authorities have organized fishermen to catch the piranhas.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE): LOCAL OFFICIAL
"Our method is useful. We put flesh on the net, attracting piranhas. In last two days, we haven't found any such fish in this river."
All residents are being enticed into the hunt by the government - with the promise of big rewards for catching the deadly fish.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE): WEI YONGWEN, LOCAL OFFICIAL
"During the piranha-hunting period, those who successfully catch piranhas in the Liujiang River will be awarded 157 dollars for every fish."
The Game Fishing Association of Liuzhou city also called on all clubs to join the piranha-hunt on the river.
SOUNDBITE(CHINESE): FISHING CLUB MEMBER
"I hope we can catch all the piranhas!"
The piranha is not the only alien species that has appeared in China.
Official data show that China has more than 50 dangerous alien species, which have caused annual economic losses of 19 billion dollars.
Last year, central China's Hunan Province issued a regulation regarding the management and imports of alien species.
... But it was the first control of its kind in China.
Piranhas found in China
Added On July 11, 2012