When an Oklahoma boy sits alone to fish, he catches a fish that makes him scream.

Janna Clinton was sitting on her back porch on a July Saturday, watching her 11-year-old son fish in the pond behind their Oklahoma house.

When Charlie began shouting for Mom, she jumped out of her seat and hurried to her son, who was stunned by the creature dangling from the end of his fishing line.

The neighborhood pond behind the Clintons’ house is a popular catch-and-release area for bass and catfish. However, on the weekend of July 14, Charlie fished out an odd-looking creature and contacted his mother, Janna, for assistance.

“Oh my God, Mom!” he exclaimed. ‘Oh my God!’ exclaimed the mother. “I thought he was just being dramatic, to be honest.”

When she looked closer, she noticed the catch had human-like teeth.

“Obviously, we’re used to catching a few bass or catfish in a neighborhood pond…”I mean, nothing with human-like teeth,” she explained, adding that the fish was a fighter. “(Charlie) said it put up a good fight.” He was the only one fishing down there, and he did an excellent job.”

The Clintons uploaded a snapshot of the strange fish on their neighborhood Facebook page, and residents who viewed the post and photos offered their reactions: “THOSE ARE HUMAN TEETH,” one person said, while another wrote, “What in the world!?!?” That’s eerie!”

Some advised that the family contact wildlife. “That is not a catch-and-release situation!” “Thank you for taking it seriously,” one person says, while another adds, “You might want to report that to someone in wildlife or something…”

The family returned the fish back into the pond before approaching wildlife about their eerie catch of the day.”This is a catch-and-release pond… Unfortunately, we did return it because we didn’t know any better at the time,” Janna explained. “We made a mistake there.”

The family discovered that the fish caught by Charlie was a pacu, a South American cousin of the piranha. Unlike its omnivorous relatives, which have razor-sharp teeth and an underbite, the pacu has square teeth and a small overbite.

It’s unclear how it got into the pond in a suburb north of Oklahoma City, but wildlife officials assume it was a pet that outgrew its tank and was released into the wild.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) addressed the previous owner of the fish on Twitter, writing, “Dear, whoever released an entire Pacu (a South American fish closely related to Piranha) into a NEIGHBORHOOD pond; how dare you.”

The Tweet sparked debate in the internet community, with many people astonished by its sharp teeth.

“WHY DOES IT HAVE HUMAN TEETH?” one perplexed user inquired.

“IDK WE DIDN’T MAKE THEM,” said ODWC, who then sent another message: “Charlie Clinton caught your fish.” He is 11. DO NOT LET YOUR PETS OUT. THEY ARE AN EXOTIC, INVASIVE SPECIES THAT CAN HARM OUR LOCAL ECOSYSTEMS.” This could result in a horrifying situation that is extremely harmful to the environment.

This was not the first time a pacu had been caught in Oklahoma. Kennedy Smith, 11, retrieved a pacu from Marina Cove at Ft. Cobb Lake, less than two hours from the Clintons, in July 2018.

Oklahoma Game Wardens issued a warning on Facebook at the time, saying, “…Pacu have been caught in a few fisheries in Oklahoma before.” The non-native pacu was most likely introduced into Oklahoma waters by people who bought them as pets and released them when they outgrew the tank they were grown in. Pacu can grow to be 3.5 feet tall and 88 pounds.”

Despite the fact that these grotesque fish are normally harmless to humans, the pacu has gained the unsettling nickname “the ball cutters.”

When a pacu was discovered in the Oresund Sound in 2011, a warning was issued to skinny-dipping Swedes.

“There have been incidents in other countries, such as Papua New Guinea, where some men have had their testicles bitten off,” fish expert Henrik Carl stated, adding that fishermen have reportedly died after having their testicles bitten off.

“They bite because they’re hungry, and testicles fit nicely in their mouth,” Carl explained. “It normally eats nuts, fruit, and small fish,” he continued, “but human testicles are just a natural target.”

Meanwhile, Charlie has been chasing the pacu at the pond, hoping to bait it one more time.

“He did stay at the ponds pretty late that night trying to catch it again,” Janna said of her son, who is fishing from early dawn until late at night in the hopes of catching a prized catch. “If he catches it again, we’ll have it mounted for him.” I think that’s a fantastic prize, and he deserves it…I told him we’d make the fish appear to be smiling so you could see its teeth.”

The pacu is a terrifying fish! Still, we feel terrible for the creature that was taken from its native habitat and then released into a new one when its owner could no longer care for it. This activity is dangerous for a variety of reasons, the most serious of which is the harm it causes to the environment.

What are your thoughts on the “ball cutter?”


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