Agriculture and Regional Development Ministry representatives raided a Tel Aviv ornamental fish shop last week and confiscated from the grounds 20 red piranhas, a “terrifying” species whose possession and import is considered illegal in Israel, the ministry announced on Monday evening.
Ministry staff members were joined by Tel Aviv police officers as well as inspectors from the Nature and Parks Authority, who brought the store owners for questioning.
The piranha, which is native to freshwater lakes and rivers of South America, can grow to about 15-25 centimeters in length, and a Hebrew University expert on the animals was recently bitten to the point of bleeding while studying them, the ministry said.
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