The Colombian authorities desires to export about 60 invasive hippopotamuses which have escaped the previous ranch of drug lord and cocaine exporter Pablo Escobar. Wildlife sanctuaries in India and Mexico have supplied to absorb the creatures.
Effectively-known for his love of unique animals, Escobar put in a zoo at his Hacienda Napoles, a sprawling ranch east of Medellín with giraffes, elephants, ostriches, and different species not native to Colombia. When Escobar was killed by police in 1993, 4 hippos lived on the ranch. Thirty years later, there are roughly 130 hippos in Colombia, all descended from Escobar’s unique pets.
The hippos have reportedly adjusted properly to life in Colombia’s favorable local weather. Nevertheless, with none pure predators, they’ve turn into a problem for Colombia’s ecosystem, with the federal government declaring them an invasive species final yr.
Scientists within the area warn hippo feces modifications the composition of native rivers, impacting the habits of manatees and capybaras.
In keeping with the federal government’s proposed plan, the hippos could be trapped in giant, iron containers and pushed about 150 kilometers to the Rionegro airport, the place they’d be flown to Mexico and India. The plan solely consists of the hippos which have left the ranch and gone feral within the Magdalena River.
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Pablo Escobar’s cocaine empire, by the numbers
Thought-about the wealthiest prison in historical past, Pablo Escobar led the most important worldwide drug cartel for many years.
$320 million: Escobar’s weekly earnings on the top of the drug commerce, placing his cartel’s annual income round $22 billion.
$2.1 billion: Cash Escobar reportedly misplaced yearly as a result of he stored his total fortune in money in dilapidated warehouses on his property and behind the partitions of cartel members’ homes, weak to climate and pests.
$10 billion: Colombia’s whole debt within the early Nineties. Escobar supplied to pay it off together with his private wealth if the nation exempted him from a brand new extradition treaty Colombia had signed with the US.
4,000: The variety of individuals murdered on Escobar’s orders, principally cops and authorities officers.
$2,500: The amount of cash Escobar’s cartel spent month-to-month on rubber bands to carry stacks of money collectively.
80%: The proportion of the world’s cocaine equipped by Escobar on the peak of his drug empire.
20: Escobar’s rating in Forbes’ 1989 annual listing of the richest individuals on this planet.
Wild hippos in Colombia, a timeline
1993: After Escobar is killed, his ranch is looted and seized by native authorities. It’s ultimately left vacant, and Escobar’s 4 hippos are deserted on the grounds.
2006: Possession of the ranch
is passes to the Colombian authorities, which sends the remaining animals to zoos across the nation. Nevertheless, the hippo inhabitants has unfold so extensive, it’s thought of too troublesome to spherical them up.
2013: Nationwide Geographic produces a documentary concerning the animals referred to as “Cocaine Hippos.”
2014: A Jurassic park-style theme park is opened on the ranch, leased from the federal government by a personal firm. There are about 40 hippos residing within the park, with dozens extra within the lakes and rivers surrounding it.
2022: The Colombian authorities formally declares the hippos an invasive species.
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