While it is rare for flesh-eating piranhas to attack humans, 15 swimmers were bitten over the weekend at the Daveron beach on the Paraguay River in Brazil. REUTERS

In a scene vaguely reminiscent of the 2010 box office bomb Piranha 3D, a school of the toothy predators attacked more than 100 swimmers in Brazil over the weekend, sending dozens to the hospital in the northeastern Piaui state, according to UOL Noticias.

The piranhas, which have a fearsome reputation, have been most prevalent at Piaui state's main beach area along Brazil's North Coast.

Last weekend alone, at least 100 bathers were treated at a hospital in Jose de Freitas, near Piaui's capital Teresina, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Most were bitten on the heels or toes at the local beach by the flesh-eating fish.

Since they have no predators, piranhas have started attacking people on the beach, Romildo Mafra, a local environment official, told The AFP.

Authorities were racing to reduce a piranha overpopulation situation and added 100,000 tilapia to the local food chain in hopes of quelling the predatorial fish's hunger. Environment officials plan to add an additional 200,000 fish, including peacock bass, in the next two months.

A spokesman for the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources told The Daily Mail that the piranhas were both adult and fingerlings.

The official added that there have been schemes to educate visitors about not throwing food into the water.

An increase in bites occurred nearly two months ago, according to UOL Noticias. However, over the weekend, there was a large spike in attacks.

Piranha attacks on humans are considered rare and, though they occasionally bite and injure swimmers, bites are considered more acts of carelessness than vicious attacks.


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