A number of national press have had a field day with sensationalist headlines following the discovery of suspected piranha in a Yorkshire lake.
Headlines included ‘Deadly man-eating piranha fish found in Doncaster Lake’ and ‘Deadly flesh-eating PIRANHAS found in Yorkshire lake as ducks and fish vanish’.
The Guardian was more circumspect with its heading, ‘Not what you expect in Doncaster: suspected piranhas found in lake’.
According to the BBC, tests are being carried out on two suspected piranhas found dead in the Edlington fishing lake.
Doncaster Council, which owns the lake, said the fish may have been pets that had been dumped in the water.
Gill Gillies, assistant director of environment, said: “Given the natural habitat of piranhas, it is highly unlikely that the fish were alive at any time in the lake.
“We assume that these were pets that were placed in the lake, something that we would strongly discourage people from doing.”
The fish were handed over to the Environment Agency. A spokesman said: “These fish do not easily survive or feed at temperatures below 10 deg Celsius and readily succumb to the cold of northern winters.”