British Angler Catches an Elusive Giant Piranha

Photos via River Monsters

British fisherman Jeremy Wade, host of Animal Planet's River Monsters, made quite a rare catch on a remote stretch of the River Congo. As one might expect from looking at this prehistoric-seeming goliath tigerfish, measuring in at around 5 feet in length with 32 razor-sharp teeth, reeling in the 100 pound fish was not without its risks. "It is, for all intents and purposes, a giant piranha. It is quite a beast," said the brave angler. "The teeth on it are incredibly sharp and are about the same length as a great white shark."

This goliath tigerfish, often referred to as a 'giant piranha', has only been observed a handful of times -- and it's no wonder why. Not only is its habitat along the River Congo in Africa a difficult location to reach, but the fish is apparently as ferocious as it looks. "It is a very dangerous fish to handle," says Wade. "If you aren't careful it could easily take your finger off or worse."

It also has an extremely powerful bite and has been known to consume prey the same size as itself, attack people and take pieces out of crocodiles.

It is thought that these fish attack in a reflex response to a sudden movement or splash. It is very rare to catch one, especially by an outsider because they are found in such a remote and difficult location to get to. There are no guides or lodges on that part of the Congo River.

The tigerfish was released shortly after being caught.

Wade, who hosts the show River Monsters, aims to uncover some of the most elusive animals lurking in the world's rivers. Species, such as the goliath tigerfish, are thought to be the inspiration behind many of the mythical creatures that have struck wonder and fear into the hearts of people throughout the ages. And sharing the reality behind such awesome and rare animals not only dispels myths about the fascinating creatures that lurk in the depths, but also gives credit where credit is due -- to nature.

More information on the goliath tigerfish and River Monsters is available here.
More on Unusual Fish Species
Strange New Fish Discovered Near Greenland
Fish with Hands Discovered, But Species Face Extinction
Species of Invasive Fish Walk on Land, Climb Trees

Tags: Africa | Animal Planet | Fish | Rivers

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