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Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Are Multiplying, And Colombia Doesn’t Know What To Do

Pablo Escobar goes down in history as one of the most notorious drug lords the world has ever seen. He built a Colombian empire and was often called “The King of Cocaine.” As one of the wealthiest criminals in history, Escobar lived a life of luxury up until the day he was finally caught and met his death. Like all empires, Pablo Escobar’s fell to the ground. What he left behind includes his family, several homes and.. Hippos!

Escobar often confused the laws of ethics and morality. He justified all his dirty work by giving large portions of his profits to the poor communities in Colombia. Those who had not upset the drug lord and benefited from his charity saw him as a hero. In reality, he and his followers were responsible for around 7,000 deaths as well as multiple assassinations, and countless bribes

An Unexpected Legacy

One of Escobar’s arguably charitable acts was opening the door to his private Zoo to locals, located in Villa Napoles on his former estate. In addition to the hundreds of exotic animals including rhinos, elephants, and giraffes, Escobar had four hippos smuggled in to be included in his zoo.

The problem is that after Escobar’s death, no one knew what to do with them. The government relocated most of the animals but, for some reason, not the hippos. They were allowed to roam free and are now running wild in Colombia. What started as four hippos have now multiplied to 50 of the world’s largest invasive animal.

Hippo’s Gone Wild

Biologist David Echeverri explained that the area where the animals roam in Colombia is a paradise for the animals. They have no predators and have plenty of food and water available to them. But these animals are actually really dangerous. In Africa, where the hippos are native, they cause more human deaths than any other large animal. For now, there have been no such incidents in Columbia but according to Echeverri, it is only a matter of time.

Most of the hippos are still living inside Escobar’s former estate, which now stands as a theme park, where the hippos are the main attraction. Many however are also venturing outside the theme park and local authorities don’t know what to do about it. “We can’t just kill the hippos and the other solution is relocating hippos, sterilizing hippos,”  Echeverri said. Unfortunately, those solutions are not financially possible and the problem still stands.