Biologists say the pacu fish eats nuts, and they may be correct in more ways than one.
KSDK reported that the pacu, a toothy fish that can weigh up to 55 pounds, has been spotted in Lake Lou Yaeger in Illinois.
Following a report that a fisherman had reeled in a piranha on June 7, lake superintendent Jim Caldwell brought the fish to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, where it was identified as a pacu. Another pacu was reportedly seen a couple of weeks later.
Caldwell said he is still swimming in the lake nearly every day. Pacus primarily eat nuts, aquatic vegetation and snails, he told KDSK, and pose no real threat to humans.
However, residents of Papua New Guinea know the pacu as the “ball cutter.” In 2011, two fisherman had died from blood loss after something in the water had bitten off their testicles, according to the Metro.
“The locals told me that this thing was like a human in the water, biting at the testicles of fishermen,” Wade said.
It was determined that the perpetrator was the pacu, which is known for having human-like teeth.
While biologists say any pacus in the Illinois lake are most likely former aquarium pets, serious criminal charges could result from such a practice.