Pablo Escobar’s Private Zoo’s Legacy Haunts Ecosystem

( – When people hear the name Pablo Escobar, they often immediately think of his life as a Colombian drug lord. However, the leader of the Medellin cartel also owned a private zoo located on his large estate in Colombia. He illegally imported various exotic animals from around the world, including kangaroos and hippos, according to Fox News. The hippo population is now close to 200, which has left the country with a dangerous situation on its hands.

Fox Nation documents the relatively unknown situation in “The Drug Lord’s Hippos,” which can be viewed on demand by subscribers. The outlet’s correspondent Griff Jenkins traveled to a highly trafficked area near the Magdalena River to talk to locals and bring awareness to the problem. One resident told Jenkins that the hippos had begun attacking people, and others said they were behaving aggressively and were often unpredictable. They told Jenkins that the best way to avoid being pursued by the hippos is to hide from them. The country has enlisted the help of local veterinarians to sterilize the hippos to prevent reproduction. However, the task is often quite challenging, considering the aggressive nature and massive size of the hippos.

The country’s environmental minister Susan Muhamad recently said, “We are in a race against time” regarding the permanent impact the hippos could have on the environment and ecosystem. The Colombian government has spent millions to control the hippo population. The hippos’ feces are polluting waterways, which could have detrimental effects on other species native to the country. Relocating the hippos is one option that is being explored, but the country could resort to euthanizing some of the animals if necessary. Muhammad said that it would not be possible to claim that one strategy would get the population under control. She said that the goal is to “implement this plan in the shortest possible time so that the impacts cease.”

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