Headed into the summer, keep your eyes peeled for a razor-toothed fish famous for devouring small mammals in minutes. Piranhas! In Louisiana? Let's hope there aren't anymore.

In 2021, officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) were notified that a Red Piranha was caught at University Lake near LSU. That shocking find, launched a massive investigation by the LDWF to make sure there weren't any others in the area. Their conclusion so far, is that the Red Piranhas was possibly a pet that was released into the waterway.

If that's true, we certainly don't want any more "released" in the water system once the cool factor of owning one wears off. There are roughly four species of these ferocious fish, and while they are fierce predators, they are also essential scavengers that help to clean-up the aquatic environment.

FYI it is illegal that officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) were notified that a fisherman caught a Red Piranha at University Lake near LSU in 2021. That's a big deal because all piranha species are illegal to possess or sell in Louisiana. big deal, these

If you have information, or if you think you caught a piranha, please do not return it to the water. Please contact Rob Bourgeois, LDWF Aquatic Nuisance Species Coordinator at rbourgeois@wlf.la.gov , 225-765-0765 or the LDWF Aquatic Invasive Species hotline at 225-765-3977 email at AquaticInvasives@la.gov.

Because the species could theoretically thrive in the climate conditions and habitat found in the southern U.S., the sale and possession of the fish is banned in many states to prevent the pet trade from accidentally establishing wild populations of the fish.

According to Outdoor Life, piranhas have previously been caught in other states, including Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Florida though breeding populations are not believed to be established in those states.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany