In an interview with NPR, Janna Clinton, described the unusual encounter experience when her 11-year-old son, Charlie, made a startling discovery while fishing in their backyard pond in Oklahoma . “He was screaming, ‘Oh my God, mom! Oh my God!’” she recalled. Initially dismissing it as drama, she soon realized that Charlie’s catch was far from ordinary.
The fish in question was a close relative of the notorious piranha, known as Pacu, and also known for its large and human-like teeth that have often raised concerns among swimmers. The pacu is native to South America, making its appearance in an Oklahoma pond an astonishing event.
When the Clintons shared a photo of the unusual fish they had cought on their neighborhood Facebook page, Charlie’s catch gained an unimaginable attention The sighting eventually caught the eye of game wardens, who later revealed that the pacu was an invasive species and should not have been released back into the water.
Despite the setback, Charlie remains determined to capture the elusive fish once more. Janna revealed that her son has been diligently investing his time at the pond, eagerly anticipating another opportunity to hook the pacu, again.
If Charlie manages to succeed, it appears he will be generously rewarded for his persistence. A neighbor has proposed to prepare and consume the pacu, but the family has alternative intentions for the catch in mind. “If he catches it again, we’re going to get it mounted for him,” Janna said with pride. “I think that’s an exceptional prize and he deserves it.”
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is not happy about this, and they want to remind pet owners that releasing pets like this can harm native wildlife, and game wardens think the pacu was someone’s pet that got too big and was let go in the wild.
however, this is not the first time a pacu has been caught in Oklahoma, because the species has been encountered a few times over the years, but it remains a relatively rare occurrence.
Beyond its odd appearance, the pacu has earned a rather unsettling nickname – “the ball cutter” – which stems from claims of attacks on men’s testicles. However, experts assert that such incidents are rare and that the pacu primarily feeds on nuts and seeds from fruit trees and plants.
Although the fish doesn’t eat humans, it does provide a distinctive dining experience. Pacu is known for its mild, slightly sweet taste, often compared to hybrid striped bass, tilapia, and rainbow trout.
As Charlie continues his pursuit of this elusive fish, the thrill of the catch remains the ultimate reward. Whether he successfully reels in the pacu once more or not, this extraordinary fishing adventure will undoubtedly be etched in the memory of the young angler and his family for years to come.