A six-year-old little girl has died after being eaten by piranhas while on holiday with her grandparents in Brazil. The little girl was riding in a canoe with her grandmother when the boat capsized. When the girl was pulled from the water, the piranhas had ripped all the flesh from her legs.
The Daily Mail reports that the little girl was on holiday with her grandparents in Rio Maicuru, in Monte Alegre, when the accident occurred. The child was riding in a canoe with her grandmother and other children when the boat capsized. By the time the small girl was pulled from the water, the piranhas had eaten the flesh from her legs. The girl was pronounced dead and taken to the morgue of the Municipal Hospital of Monte Alegre.
The grandmother spoke to media outlets about the horrifying ordeal and claims that she tried to pull the girl from the water but she slipped out of her grasp.
“I tried to hold onto her, but with all the other children around she slipped out of my grasp. I couldn’t see her any more when we got to the bank.”
After making it safely to the river bank with the other children, the grandmother called for help in finding the missing six-year-old girl. However, by the time the girl was found, her legs had been eaten by piranhas and the girl had passed away.
Though the Daily Mail reports that the girl may have died while being eaten by the piranhas, IB Times reports that the girl likely died from drowning and was eaten after death.
Piranha attacks are not common; however, they can happen. In fact, in 2011, hundreds of swimmers were attacked by piranhas on a beach in Brazil, leaving over 100 with injuries. Piranhas typically do not go after humans; however, attacks can happen when piranha populations become too large and there are a lack of predators. With an overabundance of piranhas and not enough food, humans may become the prey.
The IB Times notes that in January of this year, a businessman was swimming in a lake in Brazil when he was attacked by piranhas. The man got away with a bitten foot, but said the attack could have been deadly for a child.
“Luckily I am an adult and I got out of the lake pretty quickly. But it could be fatal for a child.”
Many are advocating for better signage at bodies of waters with known piranha problems. The Department of Environment of Caldas Novas has said they will post more signs warning swimmers and boaters of the dangers in the water.