Hungry piranhas targeting Brazil tourists

Red-bellied Piranha swim in their tank in the living rainforest enclosure at ZSL London Zoo on March 25, 2010 in London, England.
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Thousands of flesh-eating piranhas have appeared along a river beach popular with tourists in western Brazil, attacking unwary swimmers.

A spokesman for the municipal government of Caceres in Mato Grosso state says at least 15 people have been bitten in the past two weeks off Daveron beach.

Nobody has died, but some swimmers have lost toes, and spokesman Gonzaga Junior says others have lost chunks of their legs and ankles.

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Junior says piranhas are common in rivers on the outskirts of the city. But this is the first time they have appeared in waters off the beach inside the city.

Large posters have been posted on the beach to warn swimmers about the fish.