Staff at Bristol Aquarium have been left stunned after they found a bucket of piranhas left outside the front door.
Six of the ferocious river predators were left with a note attached to their bucket outside the aquarium in the city centre.
The red-bellied piranhas, which appeared to be in good health, are now being looked after at the centre’s quarantine area.
Dan de Castro, curator at Bristol Aquarium, said: “I saw this man outside the entrance to the aquarium and mentioned it to our receptionist. A short while later I get told there is a bucket of fish outside with a note stuck on it.
“Every week we are contacted by people looking to re-home fish species which have outgrown their tanks, however this is the first time someone has just abandoned the fish in a bucket – I could hardly believe my eyes!”
About half of the 35 species of piranha are carnivores, but when trapped in pools and lakes formed by drying rivers in drought periods, meat-eating piranhas will attack and eat all that they can find, even resorting to cannibalism.