A fearsome 10ft-long “monster” with scales as tough as steel and a penchant for jumping out of rivers to catch unsuspecting prey is stalking the waterways of Florida.
The arapaima is native to the Amazon. It can weigh up to 440 lbs and is among the largest freshwater fish in the world.
Its arrival in Florida has baffled local experts. A dead arapaima recently washed up on a beach alongside the Caloosahatchee River. Florida’s fish and wildlife conservation commission (FWC) is unsure how it got to the sunshine state.
The arapaima will eat almost anything it comes into contact with — even piranha fish. A bird or lizard that strays too close to the water’s edge will soon find itself dragged into the river by a hungry arapaima.