Colombia sterilized Pablo Escobar’s iconic “cocaine hippos.”
The Colombian government sterilised Pablo Escobar’s illegally imported hippos after fears that they were’multiplying’ and could have a harmful impact on the ecosystem.
A herd of hippos has been sterilized as part of the infamous legacy of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
During his crime spree, Escobar illegally smuggled a variety of exotic animals, including a male and female hippo known as the “cocaine hippos.”
Since their arrival, a rising colony of hippos has been encroaching on the land around his previous property, procreating with one another.
In 1993, a day after his 44th birthday, Escobar was slain by Colombian National Police in his hometown.
The Colombian government has sterilised 24 of the more than 80 animals that the former drug lord unlawfully brought, rendering them infertile.
According to the BBC, the critters have been given a toxin that would render them infertile.
Colombian environmentalists allege the critters are invasive species that have forced native fauna off the area.
Many campaigners have demanded that the animals be slaughtered.
Except for the hippos, most of Escobar’s illegally acquired animals were moved to zoos across the country after police seized his luxury residence, Hacienda Nápoles, in 1993.
“It was logistically difficult to transfer them around,” Colombian researcher Nataly Castelblanco told the BBC. “So the authorities just left them there, probably believing the creatures would die.”
Hippos have flourished in South America because there are no natural predators.
They began spreading, according to experts, through the River Magdalena, one of the country’s key waterways.
According to scientists investigating the organisms, there are a number of ways the animals could have an impact on the local environment.
Hippos, if left to their own devices, are said to have a good possibility of displacing native species that are already threatened with extinction, such as the manatee.
They could also alter the chemical makeup of streams, causing fishing to be hampered.
However, some research suggests that they may also benefit the ecosystem.
Pablo Escobar was the founder of the deadly Medelln cocaine cartel that wrecked havoc in the 1980s, making him one of the most well-known criminals of all time.
Assassinations, bombings, torture, and kidnappings were all carried out by the cartel. Before he was slain, former drug lord Escobar was regarded to be one of the world’s wealthiest men.