This past week, a testicle-eating fish was caught in Third Ward Park, only 10 miles from NYC. It’s a type of fish commonly referred to as “pacu”. It’s a freshwater, omnivorous species from South America. It’s a relative of the Piranha…and it enjoys munching on balls.
The “pacu” fish generally refer to the smaller fish, whereas the Colossoma macropomum are the larger fish of the pacu genus, that were introduced to the United States. While piranha have an overbite of razor-sharp teeth, pacu have square, straight teeth, similar to a human. A testicle-eating pacu was also found last year in Illinois’ Lake Lou Yeager.
Once fully-grown pacu can get as big as 3 feet and weigh 55 pounds and often mistakes testicles for tree nuts, cause well, you can see why:
Discoveries in the United States have been reported in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
So, how do you get rid of pacu that get to be out-of-control? According to state wildlife authorities: You cut off the heads!
Of course this method doesn’t go over too well with animal-rights groups such as Habitattitude, “a U.S. national initiative led by the Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Task Force”, which humanely recommends disposing of the unwanted testicle-biters by “donating them to a local aquarium society, school, or aquatic business.”
Or you could always eat them…I’m told they taste delicious when fried.