A herd of ‘cocaine hippos’ from Pablo Escobar’s personal zoo are being sterilized | Colombia

A gaggle of rampant hippopotamuses, launched by the late Colombia drug lord Pablo Escobar to his personal zoo, are being sterilized by the nation’s wildlife providers, after mounting concern that the 80-strong herd offered a possible environmental catastrophe as an invasive species.

The so-called “cocaine hippos”, whose quantity has greater than doubled since 2012, had been sterilized after worries have mounted over their environmental affect, together with a risk to human security.

The choice to neutralize the herd’s breeding potential comes after a research earlier this 12 months concluded that the animals had turn out to be a hazard. The hippos, which had been initially launched to Escobar’s Hacienda Napoles property, are some of the enduring legacies of the infamous cocaine trafficker, who was killed by police in 1993.

The research, by researchers at Mexican and Colombian universities, had discovered that the hippos had bred so efficiently that they’d unfold out from their authentic dwelling, practically 100 miles east of town of Medellín, within the Antioquia division, dispersing across the Magdalena river basin and, as such, ought to be thought of a serious invasive species.

The research, printed within the journal Organic Conservation, really helpful the herd be culled. However others promoted sterilization, citing animal rights considerations and assist for the African interlopers which have turn out to be a vacationer attraction that native folks really feel affection for.

Professionals prepared tranquilization darts as they put together to sterilize a bunch of ‘invasive’ hippos. {Photograph}: CORNARE/AFP/Getty Pictures

Enrique Zerda Ordóñez, a biologist at Colombia’s Nationwide College, instructed CNN earlier this 12 months that chemical castration was the one manner ahead however acknowledged that sterilizing a hippo is not any simple activity.

In keeping with an replace this week, Colombian authorities has to date sterilized 24 utilizing a chemical that makes them infertile.

After Escobar’s dying, the hippos had been left to their very own gadgets at Hacienda Napoles as a result of they proved too troublesome to seize and transport. They quickly started increasing into the encompassing area.

Whether or not the brand new drive to curb the herd will probably be profitable is for now unknown, however the hippos seem well-adapted to their new South American dwelling even at a price to native species.

The Organic Conservation research cited analysis on the unfavorable impact of hippo faeces on oxygen ranges in our bodies of water, which might have an effect on fish and in the end people. The journal additionally raised considerations in regards to the transmission of illnesses from hippos to people.

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