Pablo Escobar’s Invasive ‘Cocaine Hippos’ To Be Relocated To Continents Around The World
A bunch of hippos previously owned by drug lord Pablo Escobar are set to quickly go away South America.
Colombia plans to maneuver about 70 of the so-called cocaine hippos to India and Mexico, according to a tweet Thursday from the governor of Antioquia province, the place the mammals are situated. Though some researchers have recommended the hippos may very well be restoring Colombia’s ecosystem, they’re nonetheless thought-about an invasive species.
The animals, descendants of 4 African hippos illegally imported by Escobar within the Nineteen Eighties, turned a vacationer attraction after he was killed by police in 1993. However, their inhabitants has since grown to greater than 130 within the Antioquia space, settling far past Escobar’s Hacienda Nápoles ranch.
Environmental authorities estimate this quantity might climb to 400 within the subsequent eight years, fueling the push to maneuver the hippos to overseas sanctuaries, in accordance with an Associated Press report Friday.
“It is possible to do, we already have experience relocating hippos in zoos nationwide,” David Echeverri López, a spokesperson for the Cornare environmental authority endeavor the hassle, advised the outlet.
Lina Marcela de los Ríos Morales, director of animal safety and welfare in Antioquia’s surroundings ministry, advised the AP that these relocations will solely have an effect on hippos residing exterior Escobar’s ranch — and never in its managed surroundings.
This mission, reportedly brewing for greater than a 12 months, marks a giant shift from Colombia’s preliminary plan to sterilize or kill the animals — which spurred a lawsuit that made them the primary nonhuman creatures to be legally thought-about individuals by a U.S. courtroom.
Hippos are removed from sociable, nevertheless, and yearly kill 500 people of their native Africa, in accordance with National Geographic. The extremely territorial animal can weigh 1000’s of kilos, with a chunk practically thrice stronger than a lion’s.
The hippos exterior Escobar’s ranch are additionally threatening the biodiversity of native rivers with their feces. The booming inhabitants has been crowding out different animals like manatees and capybaras, prompting the necessity for determined measures.
The plan is to lure the hippos into iron containers to drive them to José María Córdova International Airport in Rionegro, 94 miles away. Sixty shall be flown to the Greens Zoological Rescue & Rehabilitation Kingdom in Gujarat, India, whereas 10 will head for zoos in Mexico.
Though some have reportedly described the animals as “village pets,” others are relieved to see the hippos go. Antioquia native Alvaro Molina, as an illustration, advised CBS News he was attacked by a hippo whereas fishing final 12 months.