Petaluma Fisherman Caught Amazonian Fish With Human Teeth In Local Park Pond

First Posted: Jun 01, 2016 07:00 AM EDT

A Petaluma fisherman reeled in a pacu fish at the Lucchesi Park pond near the Petaluma Community Center, its large teeth cutting the line as it was lifted out of water.

The fisherman, Juan Gallo told Press Democrat, "It landed on the dirt and you could tell it wasn't anything we had seen before."

The Amazonian freshwater fish, according to the Washington Times, is a relative of the piranha, and despite being sold in pet shops around the United States, it is considered illegal to own one in California.

The pacu, unlike any other fish you'd like to reel in for dinner, is known to have human-like teeth, and Gallo said that by the time he pulled it out of the water, the unusual species managed to chew through his line.

Matthew Gimlen, a freshwater fish expert from the Sacramento retailer Exotic Aquarium told The Independent that these fish are usually found in local ponds because they were released by those who brought them but could no longer take care of them.

“They are dirty fish," Gimlen said. "They can acclimate to the water this time of year, especially because it’s warm outside. But they usually die off by winter.”

The fisherman, meanwhile, said that he will turn his pacu over to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW), but that he will keep it and have it stuffed if they don't want it.

The CDFW does have protocol for these invasive species -- they advice fishermen not to release the fish caught in lakes and ponds, and instead, they should freeze it and contact authorities immediately.

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