Piranha Caught in Suburban Houston Lake

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials say a fish caught by a pre-teen girl in a suburban Houston lake last month was a red-bellied piranha. It's only the second piranha ever verified in Texas waters and the first in nearly 30 years.

The hand-sized fish chomped down on piece of hot dog used as bait at the 23-acre lake at Harris County's Tom Bass Park. When adults with the girl saw the fish's razor-sharp teeth, they turned it over to authorities.

Parks officials told the Houston Chronicle the notoriously aggressive meat-eating fish likely was dumped in the lake by an aquarium owner. The fish is illegal in Texas but officials say it's easily obtainable on the Internet.

The only other verified Texas piranha came in Kendall County in 1982.

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