China's Liuzhou city cancels piranha hunt as fish don't bite bait

Piranha swimming in an aquarium tank
Image caption Piranhas are known to be ferocious

Authorities in China's Liuzhou city have called off the hunt for piranhas from a local river after the flesh-eating fish failed to take the bait.

The city offered 1,000 yuan ($157; £101) reward for each piranha caught after the fish reportedly bit two men.

But despite being offered morsels of pork, not a single piranha was caught.

Piranhas, native to South American rivers, are believed to have been illegally imported to China and release by private aquariums.

But there has been criticism that the river's ecosystem might be damaged by the frantic fishing the government's announcement unleashed.

Officials have insisted the campaign was launched after careful consideration.

Chinese state media say Liuzhou's municipal government announced the hunt should end at 1800 local time (1000GMT) Friday. The decision to call off the hunt was made to protect local fish stocks, say officials.

Buckets of other fish were netted over the past three days, reports say. But local fishery officials said they set the other fish free.

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