Colombia might kill Pablo Escobar’s African hippos 

Animal News : Colombia might kill Pablo Escobar's African hippos 

Colombia might kill some of the 169 African hippos originating from a herd owned by drug lord Pablo Escobar in the 1980s. The country has been trying to find ways to stop the animals from reproducing.

In 1981, Escobar brought three female hippos and one male to Colombia. He kept the animals at his private zoo at his luxury estate Haciendo Napoles in Antioquia. After his death, the government inherited his territory and animals.

The government decided to leave the hippos on the estate because they were difficult to move. They thought the hippos would die, but they started reproducing. Four hippos created a population of now 169 hippos.

Colombia’s environment minister, Susana Muhamad, recently announced a plan to control the population. 

Sterilisation, relocation or death for hippos

The first phase of the so-called Hippopotamus Management and Control Plan in Colombia consists of surgical sterilisation of these animals, as stated in the official statement from the Ministry. At the moment, there will be 20 that will undergo the intervention. The goal is set at 40 animals a year. 

Another of the measures detailed in the plan is relocation. Last March, a plan was introduced to take dozens of hippos to other countries, including Mexico and India

And as a last resort, the Ministry is developing a protocol to kill some hippos. Hippos were declared an invasive species in the country last year, making killing them a possibility.

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