A teenage swimmer has been eaten alive by piranhas after he leaped into a Bolivian river infested with the fish.
The unnamed 18-year-old boy was drunk when he jumped out of a canoe in the town of Rosario del Yata, 400 miles north of the capital of La Paz.
Guayaramerin police officer Daniel Cayaya said the teen bled to death after the attack, which happened last Thursday. The incident emerged yesterday when it was reported by Erbol, a local radio station.
Cayaya said the police suspect suicide because the teenager was a fisherman in the region who knew the Yata river well. With razor sharp teeth, piranhas hunt in packs, stripping a body of its flesh in minutes.
Despite their fearsome reputation, fatal attacks by piranhas on humans are rare.
However, in September it was reported a popular river beach in Brazil was left deserted after flesh-eating piranhas attacked up to 15 swimmers.
One swimmer lost the tip of his toe and officials warned people to get out of the water as quickly as possible if bitten, so their blood did not attract more of the fish.
It was the first time piranhas have been seen at Daveron beach on the Paraguay river.
Frightening fish Reaching up to 14 inch long, the piranha is mainly found in the Amazon River basin in South America and is infamous for its razor-sharp teeth and for hunting prey in packs.
In shoals, the piranha ambushes its prey, stripping the flesh of large animals such as anaconda snakes or even jaguar within minutes.
A piranha-infested tank is also used by James Bond villian Blofeld to kill people in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice.