KEY LARGO, Fla. -- Becky Fowler was shipwreck-diving 66 feet below the surface, exploring a watery paradise, when she came face to face with a four-inch-long, zebra-striped Cujo of the deep.
Yes, the dreaded lionfish has made its way to the Florida Keys. Fowler's discovery, confirmed a few days later by divers who captured and dissected the creature, has sent shivers through the Keys' fishing and tourism industries.
Just as pythons have disturbed the natural ecosystem of the Everglades, the lionfish could someday become a scourge of the Keys. A Bluto Blutarsky of the water kingdom, it will eat anything it can cram into its mouth -- sea horses, crustaceans and all manner of native fish -- and is a breeding machine
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