Pablo Escobar continues to be talked about. 30 years after the death of the drug trafficker in Colombia, the future of the animals that the dangerous criminal had imported into his huge estate called Hacienda Napoles in the department of Antioquia is being discussed. In fact, Escobar’s legacy hippos would be a danger to Colombia’s biodiversity, which is why the government is considering their transfer.
To date it is estimated that, starting from the four initial specimens of hippos (one male and three females) that lived near the Hacienda Napoles, between 130 and 160 pachyderms are now present on Colombian territory. Within his immense estate, which extended for 3,000 hectares, Pablo Escobar kept, in addition to hippopotamuses, elephants, camels, zebras, giraffes, cranes, impalas, deer, tapirs, kangaroos, flamingos and rare birds.
After Escobar’s death, the authorities relocated most of the other animals, but not the hippos, because they were too difficult to transport. For about thirty years these pachyderms have therefore been free to thrive, and according to a study they could even reach 1,500 specimens in just the space of fifteen years.
The main problem is that hippos, one of the largest invasive species in the world, have no natural predators in Colombia, and over time their presence could become increasingly harmful to the surrounding environment
For all these reasons, the Colombian government has arranged for the hippos to be transferred to other countries, specifically there are about 70 specimens that should find a new home in Mexico and India.
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