Colombia to send 70 Escobar's “cocaine hippos” to India and Mexico

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 Colombia to send 70 “cocaine hippos” Escobar to India and Mexico

Colombia plans to ship dozens of “cocaine hippos” — offspring from the private menagerie of drug lord Pablo Escobar — to new homes in India and Mexico to control their rapidly growing population. It is reported by CNN.

Previously, the authorities tried to control their population with the help of castration and contraceptive darts. But these attempts have met with limited success. Now, a decision has been made to move 70 hippos to nature reserves in India –60, and Mexico –10.

However, biologists fear that sending the hippos could do more harm than good to the hippos themselves. and for the local ecosystem.

“Every time we move animals or plants from one place to another, we also move their pathogens – bacteria and viruses. And we can bring new diseases, not just for hippos living in the wild, but new diseases for the whole ecosystem that is not familiar with this type of disease, – says Maria Angela Echeverri, professor of biology at Gaveriana University.

Now there are between 130 and 160 “cocaine hippos” spreading far beyond Escobar's former ranch Hacienda Napoles, where one male and three females were first settled. Hippos were part of a collection of exotic animals that Escobar collected in the 1980s at his ranch. After his death in 1993, the authorities relocated most of the other animals, but the hippopotamus was left in place due to the difficulties of transportation.

Since then, the animals have multiplied, spreading around the Magdalena River basin, and are now a threat to the environment and disturb local residents. Biologists warn that the number of “cocaine hippos” could increase to 1500 within two decades.

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