Big Mutant Fish
© The SunCaught... Jeremy Wade and locals hold a goonch
Scientists have claimed a fearsome mutant fish has begun actively hunting people - after gorging itself on human corpses which have been dumped in rivers.

They reckon that a huge type of catfish, called a goonch, may have developed a taste for flesh in an Indian river where bodies are dumped after funerals, reports The Sun newspaper.

Locals have believed for years that a mysterious monster lurks in the water. But they think it has moved on from scavenging to snatching unwary bathers who venture into the Great Kali, which flows along the India-Nepal border.

The extraordinary creature has been investigated by biologist Jeremy Wade for a TV documentary.

He said: "The locals have told me of a theory that this monster has grown extra large on a diet of partially burnt corpses. It has perhaps got this taste for flesh by feasting on remains of funeral pyres.

"There will be a few freak individuals that grow bigger than the other ones and if you throw in extra food, they will grow even bigger."

Jeremy discounted theories that crocodiles could be responsible for the carnage before turning his attention to goonches - among the world's biggest freshwater fish.

He caught one which tipped the scales at 161lb and was nearly 6ft long - a world record weight and far bigger than any landed before.

He said: "If that got hold of you, there'd be no getting away.

An 18-year-old Nepali disappeared in the river last year, dragged down by something described as like an "elongated pig".

But the first victim of a goonch attack was thought to have been a 17-year-old Nepalese boy.

He was killed in April 1988 as he cooled himself in the river.

Witnesses said he was suddenly pulled below the surface.

Three months later a young boy was dragged underwater as his father watched helplessly.