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Piranhas seized in South Florida undercover bust

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Piranhas seized in South Florida undercover bust

They met in a parking lot like a pair of drug dealers, but the contraband consisted of live piranhas. An undercover wildlife officer bought three red-bellied piranhas inWest Palm Beach last week, in an operation aimed at keeping the ferocious fish out of Florida’s waterways.

Although their reputed ability to reduce a human being to a skeleton in minutes is a myth, experts say the predatory fish could disrupt Florida’s freshwater ecosystems if they got loose, using their razor sharp teeth to feed on the state’s native fish.

Kristina M. Dempsey, of Lake Worth, was charged with three misdemeanors, after the deal was carried out in the parking lot of aWalmart in West Palm Beach, according to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In an interview, she said she was simply trying to get rid of aquarium fish she no longer wanted in a more responsible manner than dumping them in a lake or canal.

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