Latin America & Caribbean

Brazilian girl, 6, 'eaten' by piranhas and found dead

Piranhas have razor-sharp teeth, although attacks on humans are extremely rare (file pic) Image copyright Adam Blenford
Image caption Piranhas have razor-sharp teeth, although attacks on humans are extremely rare (file pic)

A six-year-old girl has been found dead in Brazil after being surrounded and devoured by a large shoal of piranhas.

Family members said she was with her grandmother and four other children in a canoe, which capsized in a storm.

Her grandmother managed to bring the other children back into the boat, but was not able to reach the victim, named by local media outlets as Adrila Muniz.

A group of townspeople in the northern state of Para helped to search for the girl, but found her unresponsive.

The incident happened in the Maicuru River near the town of Monte Alegre on the afternoon of 27 January.

Family members told some local media that the girl may have drowned shortly after falling into the river, and could have been dead prior to being set upon by the piranhas.

Her body was taken to the morgue at a hospital in Monte Alegre, and graphic post-mortem photographs show that virtually all the flesh was stripped from her legs.

Piranhas are freshwater fish with razor-sharp teeth, and travel in large shoals for protection from predators. While attacks on humans are extremely rare, they can be deadly.

Another six-year-old child, Eduardo dos Santos de Sousa, died in 2012 after piranhas devoured the flesh on his forearm near the town of Curua, also in the state of Para.

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