Colombia tackles Escobar’s hippos

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Colombia tackles Escobar's hippos

The Colombian government will take measures to reduce the number of rhinos from the private zoo of legendary drug trafficker Pablo Escobar.

Out of control

The reproduction of the animals from the collection of drug lord Pablo Escobar, who was shot dead by the police in 1993, has gotten out of hand, resulting in 166 rhinos roaming around Escobar’s former hacienda.

The Colombian environment minister now says that 20 of the hippos will be sterilized, some will be transferred abroad, and the lives of a number of others will be terminated.


Pablo Escobar imported the animals for his private zoo, which also included giraffes, camels and zebras. But because the rhinos in Colombia had no natural enemies, they have been able to reproduce all these years. The state of Antioquia with its swamps also turned out to be a suitable environment for the animals to live.

In the meantime, the animals have already attacked fishermen in the area and one even appeared in a schoolyard.

Pablo Escobar was the violent leader of the Medellin drug cartel in Colombia. He is said to have smuggled 25 billion worth of cocaine into the southern United States.

A few years ago, a permit for an Escobar museum in Colombia was revoked. The underlying reason is that Medellin wants to get rid of its image as the home base of drug criminals.

The new drug traffickers in Colombia now prefer to remain anonymous.

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