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Colombian Drug Lord’s Escaped Hippos Caused Chaos


Pablo’s Mugshot taken in 1977. Colombia National Registry; Colombian National Police. Public Domain

During the eighties of last century, Pablo Escobar had been regarded as the “king of cocaine,” until in 1993, he was shot dead after a a fatal gun battle with the international police team. Besides his title of the Colombia drug lord, he has also left another legacy: pet hippos

During the initial period of his drug-trafficking organization, Escobar purchased four hippopotamuses from a zoo in California, which were raised on his estate not far from the village of Doradal, Colombia.

According to the report by AFP, after twenty-three years, at present, the number of Pablo’s hippo gang is believed to have reached thirty-five at least.By breeding, the original foursome have turned to be the biggest wild hippo herd outside of their native Africa.

As the villahers of Doradal aren’t content with the present situation, the local authorities have to take some measures to contain them.

Although nobody has been attacked by the hippopotamuses yet, which is regarded as kind of a relief if taking their aggressive temperament into account. But for the time being, the fears are more focused on their threat to the local environment.


A group of hippopotamuses in Kenya (unaffiliated with the cocaine trade). Image credit: Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock

In the interview with AFP, David Echeverri Lopez, a biologist from the regional environmental corporation said, if these hippos became aggressive, they would be threatening the Colombian biodiversity and could displace native fauna..

According to David Echeverri Lopez, the hippo was an invasive species and very resistant to everything. The could kill livestock because they carried diseases. They could also pollute the water courses where they defecated.

In order to prevent hippos from breeding, four of the male ones have received a vasectomy. It is also planned to set up barriers out of rocks and trees so as to keep them away from wandering too near to the nearby villages and towns.

It is ironical that the annual budget of local environmental agency is mainly funded by loot seized from drug gangs.

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