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Colombia decides to euthanise Pablo Escobar’s herd of cocaine hippos

Colombia decides to euthanise Pablo Escobar’s herd of cocaine hippos

The herd of hippos which has grown since the drug lord brought them over has grown

Colombian officials have made the decision to euthanise some of Pablo Escobar's herd of 'cocaine hippos'.

First things first, you're probably wondering what on earth a cocaine hippo is. They're a herd of hippos which are the descendants of a group that drug lord Pablo Escobar had brought over for his private zoo.

When Escobar was killed by the authorities in 1993, many of the animals in his private zoo were relocated but the hippos were pretty much left to their own devices.

This turned out to be a bit of a daft idea because the cocaine hippos not only survived their abandonment, they actually thrived in Colombia.

Now there's a herd of hippos confirmed to be at least 166 strong, and there have been fears that their numbers could rise to over a thousand within the next decade.

Pablo Escobar brought four hippos for his private zoo, their descendants have been named an invasive species.
Eric VANDEVILLE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Hippos make more hippos, and the more hippos in the herd the more hippos they'll make until it grows into an exponential problem.

While some of the cocaine hippos have died in accidents from coming into contact with the locals, the question of what to do with the herd at large has been one that the Colombian authorities have been puzzling over.

Now it seems as though a decision has been reached on the fate of Escobar's hippos.

According to the BBC, about 20 of the 166 strong herd will be sterilised while some more will be relocated, which will be an expensive process.

However, many other hippos in the herd will be euthanised after they were declared an invasive species last year, opening the door to a cull of the herd which some had been calling for.

Some hippos will be sterilised and others moved but many experts have been calling for the herd to be culled and that appears to be the plan.
RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images

Since hippos are dangerous creatures and sterilising them puts the people tasked with doing the job at great risk, the argument for culling the herd has grown.

Moving them is expensive (and you have to find someone willing to take them first) while sterilisation is dangerous, which is why some experts have been pointing towards a cull as an option.

Hippo dung and urine is toxic and there are concerns that as the herd grows, the environmental damage the animals would cause will only grow.

Their aggression also makes them dangerous as hippos kill more people annually in their native Africa than any other mammal.

Escobar's collection started with only four hippos which, years later, has grown into 166, and they live around the Magdalena River.

Featured Image Credit: Eric VANDEVILLE/Gamma-Rapho/RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images

Topics: World News, Animals, Pablo Escobar, Weird