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Oklahoma kid fishing by himself catches a fish that makes him scream in surprise

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One sunny July weekend, Janna Clinton was chilling out on the deck at her house, watching her son Charlie, who’s 11 years old, go fishing in the pond near their home in Oklahoma.

Suddenly, Charlie started yelling for his mom. Janna quickly got up and rushed to her son, who was super surprised by the strange animal he’d caught on his fishing line. You see, their backyard pond is a popular place where people often catch and release fish like bass and catfish for fun. But, on that particular day, July 14, using just a piece of bread as bait, Charlie caught a really weird-looking creature and yelled out to his mom, Janna, because he needed help.

“He was screaming, ‘Oh my God, mom! Oh my God!’” the mother said. “I thought he was just being dramatic, to be honest.” When she got closer, she saw that the creature had teeth that looked a lot like a human’s teeth.

“Obviously being in a neighborhood pond, we’re used to just catching a few bass or catfish…I mean, nothing with human-like teeth,” she said. She also mentioned that the fish was pretty tough.  “(Charlie) said it put up a heck of a fight. He was the only one down there fishing and he did a great job.”

The Clinton family shared a picture of this weird fish on their neighborhood’s Facebook page. People who saw the post were really surprised. “THOSE ARE HUMAN TEETH,” said one while another writes, “What in the world!?! That’s creepy!”

A few people suggested that the family should tell someone who knows about animals in the wild.“That is most definitely not a catch and release! Thank you for taking it seriously,” said one resident while another shares, “You may need to report that to somebody in wildlife or something…”

Before they could tell anyone about the strange fish, the family let it go back into the pond. “It’s a catch and release pond…so we unfortunately did release it back because we didn’t know any better at the time,” Janna said. “We made a mistake there.”

The Clinton family found out that the fish Charlie caught was a pacu, a fish that’s related to the piranha and comes from South America. But unlike piranhas, which eat all sorts of things and have really sharp teeth, pacus mostly eat plants and have square-shaped teeth.

It’s still a mystery how this fish ended up in a pond in a neighborhood just north of Oklahoma City. People who know about wildlife think it might have been a pet that got too big for its tank, so its owner let it go into the wild.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, or ODWC, even posted a message on Twitter about it. They wrote, “Dear, whoever released an entire Pacu (a South American fish closely related to Piranha) into a NEIGHBORHOOD pond; how dare you.”

This tweet started a lot of chatter online, especially because of the fish’s teeth. “Why does it have human teeth?” one confused person asked. “I don’t know, we didn’t make them,” replied the ODWC. They had another important message: “Your fish was caught by Charlie Clinton. He’s 11 years old. Don’t let your pets go. They are unusual, foreign animals that can mess up our local environments.” This could lead to a really bad situation that could harm the environment.

This wasn’t the first time a pacu was caught in Oklahoma. In July 2018, a girl named Kennedy Smith, who was also 11 years old, caught a pacu at Marina Cove at Ft. Cobb Lake, which is not too far from where the Clintons live.

Oklahoma Game Wardens recently gave a heads-up through a Facebook post. They said that a weird kind of fish named Pacu has been seen in some of the state’s fishing areas. The fish isn’t from around here, and it probably ended up in Oklahoma because some people bought them as pets and let them go when they got too big for their tanks. These Pacu can become pretty huge, growing up to 3.5 feet and weighing as much as 88 pounds.

Twitter/ Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Even though they look really scary, these Pacu fish usually don’t hurt people. But they have been given a creepy nickname – “the ball cutters.” Back in 2011, people in Sweden were told to be careful when swimming naked because a Pacu was found in a body of water called the Oresund Sound. Fish expert Henrik Carl talked about how in some places like Papua New Guinea, there have been really bad incidents. Some guys have even lost their testicles to these fish and sadly, some fishermen have died from losing too much blood after such attacks.

Carl added more about why the Pacu might bite. He said they do it when they’re hungry, and sadly, human private parts fit well in their mouth. These fish usually like to eat things like nuts, fruits, and smaller fish. But it seems like they find human parts to be an easy target.

Meanwhile, Charlie has been spending a lot of time trying to catch the Pacu in a local pond. He stays out fishing from the crack of dawn until it’s really late at night. His mom, Janna, mentioned that he tried really hard to catch it once more the other night. If he does manage to catch it, they plan to preserve the fish and show it off.

Janna said it would be a great prize for Charlie and they’d even make the fish look like it’s smiling so everyone can see its teeth. It’s a bit sad, though, that the Pacu was taken from where it naturally lives and then let go in a place it’s not used to when its owner couldn’t look after it anymore. Doing this can cause a lot of problems and isn’t good for nature at all. What do you think about this fish that’s earned the nickname “ball cutter”?