"The Exotic Menace"

"A growing worldwide trade in exotic plants and animals, fueled by a fascination with the rare and beautiful, often wreaks havoc on Florida's native plants and animals and costs the nation billions each year.

"America has a love affair with exotic species, but unfortunately it has a dark side," said Don Schmitz, a research program manager with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "Go down to Miami International Airport. It's amazing what comes in on a daily basis from overseas."

The list includes tropical flowers, colorful fish, scorpions and spitting cobras."

Dinah Voyles Pulver reports for the Daytona Beach News-Journal Dec. 13, 2009, in a multi-part feature series.

Source: Daytona Beach News-Journal, 12/22/2009