The descendants of Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’ are set to be relocated in India and Mexico in an attempt to control their booming population.
Experts claim that the 4,000 pound animals won’t stop having sex and that they have taken over Colombia’s waterways, poisoning wildlife with their toxic urine and faeces.
There are worries, expressed by the likes of Nature journal, that this hippo population could boom ten times to around 1,500 in just 20 years due to them constantly reproducing.
Local governor Aníbal Gaviria said that transferring 70 of the hippos is very risky, as moving them means moving the pathogens and viruses they carry as well. He explained that sending them back to their native home would have done more harm than good.
The goal is “to take them to countries where these institutions have the capacity to receive them, and to (home) them properly and to control their reproduction,” said Gaviria.
The small herd of hippos arrived in Colombia in the late 1980s by the wealthy cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar. After his 1993 death, the animals were left to roam freely and populate the region of Magdalena Medio.
The local environmental agencies have recorded two assaults on residents in 2021, with unsuccessful attempts at sterilisation in 2022 failing. This led to the hippos being declared as invasive species.