Pablo Escobar's 'Cocaine Hippos' and Their Descendants to Be Declared Invasive to Colombia, Officials Say
People around Puerto Triunfo have grown accustomed to the herd, some of which descended from the few imported illegally by drug lord Pablo Escobar and kept at his nearby ranch.
Colombia is planning to declare hippopotamuses are an exotic, invasive species and will begin to try and control the animals brought to the country over 30 years ago, officials said.
This is the first time since hippos arrived from Africa in the 1980s that the government plans to do this, according to Carlos Eduardo Correa, the minister of environment and sustainable development of Colombia
There are currently 130 hippos in the area, but experts believe the population could hit 400 in eight years if nothing is done.
The animals flourish in Colombia's rivers, and local fishermen say they often have run-ins with the burly hippos.
People around Puerto Triunfo have grown accustomed to the herd, some of which descended from the hippos imported illegally by drug lord Pablo Escobar and kept at his nearby ranch.
Most people in the area say they can get along with the big beasts, and many oppose sterilization and killing them.
Escobar's Hacienda Nápoles, and the so-called "cocaine hippos," have become a local tourist attraction ever since police killed the kingpin in 1993.
Authorities say they will consult with local communities before formulating a plan to control their population.
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