A total of about 130 hippos live near Escobar’s former residence, 200 kilometers from the Colombian capital. They are all descendants of four hippos smuggled out of Africa by a known drug trafficker in the 1980s.
After Pablo Escobar died at the hands of the police in 1993, the luxurious villa was abandoned, but the hippos remained. Due to the favorable climate and the absence of natural enemies, these animals, whose weight can reach three tons, quickly increased their population.
Scientists have warned that the invasive mammals could harm Colombia’s wildlife, including destroying the habitats of capybaras and manatees. Last year, the country’s authorities declared it a harmful species.
It is planned that the hippos will be captured and sent to India and Mexico, where conditions are suitable for their maintenance. According to Lina Marcela de los Ríos Morales, director of the department of animal welfare and well-being of the department of the environment of the department of Antioquia, the natural habitat of hippos is, of course, Africa, but the sends to other parts of the world. is even more humane than the alternative options.
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