Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’ attack Columbians as concerns over their numbers rise

“Cocaine hippos” are said to have been illegally imported by drug lord Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar’s “cocaine hippos” bathing in water. — AFP/File

The children of late drug lord Pablo Escobar’s illegal imports of hippopotamuses into Colombia in the 1980s have begun attacking humans.

Since there are no natural predators for these hippos in the South American nation, they have turned on humans, who are the object of their ferocious attacks, according to Wion.

“They’re very, very dangerous. The hippos have started to attack people,” one local was quoted saying to Fox News.

Others described the enormous hippos as “unpredictable and aggressive,” and advised hiding fast in the hopes that they won’t pursue you if you find yourself up against them.

One of the hippos from Escobar’s collection passed away last year after being hit by a car. Emergency responders sent the car’s driver for medical attention, but the hippo passed away immediately.

The hippos were introduced to Escobar’s private zoo in Hacienda Nápoles in the 1980s. But since Escobar passed away in 1993, these animals have proliferated unchecked in the surrounding waterways and have spread, compelling Colombia’s Ministry of Environment to classify them as invasive species because they pose a harm to the environment as a whole.

The hippos began poisoning the water and soil and eradicating the local natural vegetation when their population reached 150. According to the officials, their excrement reduced the oxygen content of the water, degraded its quality, and killed a large number of fish. 

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