Hippos Once Owned By Pablo Escobar Have Become Scourge in Colombia

The drug lord’s hippo pod has increased to over 50.

escobar hippo hippos
Picture of a sign warning about the presence of hippos in Doradal, Antioquia department, Colombia, near the Hacienda Napoles theme park, once the private zoo of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar at his Napoles ranch. (RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

Drug kingpin Pablo Escobar may be long gone — but his four pet hippos have multiplied and are terrorizing the countryside of Colombia.

In the 1980s, Escobar was the wealthiest and most-feared drug kingpin in the world. His private ranch was home to hundreds of exotic animals, including rhinos, elephants and giraffes. At the time, Escobar also boasted a collection of four hippos.

David Echeverri, who works for CORNARE, the environmental agency tasked with tracking the hippo herd says there could be more than 50 descendants from the original pod. “People forgot the hippos,” he told CBS news.

In Africa, the hippo accounts for the most deaths in humans of any other large animal, so authorities aren’t taking their presence lightly. 

“We can’t just kill the hippos and the other solution is relocating hippos, sterilizing hippos,” Echeverri said, adding that the process could be not only dangerous but also expensive.

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