Pet piranha bites off toddler's fingertip - FOX 32 News Chicago

Pet piranha bites off toddler's fingertip

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Stock Photo (by cliff1066™, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.) Stock Photo (by cliff1066™, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.)
MAINE TOWNSHIP, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

When a northwest suburban mother discovered her 18-month-old daughter's finger had been bitten, she assumed the family pit bull was responsible.

But Cook County sheriff's police said the culprit was actually another household pet: a piranha, Pioneer Press is reporting.

Police said one of the child's fingertips was bitten off on the night of June 19 inside the family's home in the Bay Colony subdivision in unincorporated Maine Township.

Police said the child's mother reported she heard her daughter crying and noticed the toddler's finger was bleeding, the fingertip missing.

The mother believed the family's pit bull had bitten the child, but further investigation by police determined the piranhas, swimming in a fish tank near where the child had been playing, may have been responsible.

Police said the child's father cut open one of the piranhas, and the piece of his daughter's finger was recovered from the fish.

The child and the severed part of her finger were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said she could not disclose information about the child's treatment, including whether doctors were able to reattach her fingertip.

Cook County Sheriff's Department spokesman Frank Bilecki told the Chicago Tribune that the parents were distraught and aren't facing charges.

A local aquarium shop owner told FOX Chicago News that it's hard to believe a pet piranha would have done this.

The Sun-Times Media Wire and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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