10 Of Pablo Escobar’s Hippos To Be Airlifted To El Chapo’s Birthplace In Mexico: Report


Moving the hippos to the new location is an operation costing $500,000 and has been financed by conservationist Ernesto Zazueta.

Colombia in March 2023 proposed a plan to ship at least 70 hippos from notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar’s former ranch to India and Mexico to control their numbers. They have been declared an invasive species after the animals wreaked havoc on the country’s eco-system.

As per the plan, 10 of Pablo Escobar’s hippos are now being moved to a new location in Mexico, New York Post reported.

The animals will be flown from Antioquia, Colombia, to Sinaloa, the Mexican province which was home to cartel leader Joaquin ”El Chapo” Guzman and his sons. Once the hippos land in Sinaloa, they will be taken to Jesús María, the bastion where Ovidio ”El Raton” Guzman, was captured in January after a fierce firefight. 

Their new home will be Ostok Sanctuary, a shelter for animals rescued from species trafficking/

Moving the hippos to the new location is an operation costing $500,000 and has been financed by conservationist Ernesto Zazueta. 

Notably, Pablo Escobar illegally brought four African beasts to Colombia in the late 1980s. The hippos were part of a collection of exotic animals like elephants, giraffes, and antelopes at the private zoo on his estate in western Colombia. 

But after his death in 1993, the hippos were left to roam freely in a hot, marshy area of the Antioquia department, where environmental authorities have been helpless to curb their numbers which now stand at 150 animals. The government said they started polluting soil and water and wiping out native plants in the region. Their faeces affects water oxygen levels, which can lower water quality and result in widespread fish fatalities. 

The lifespan of a hippo is around 40-50 years, according to National Geographic.

While authorities relocated most of the other animals, the hippos were too difficult to transport. It is also not possible to transport them back to their native Africa since it risks upsetting the local ecosystem there.

A study in journal Nature has warned that the hippos’ numbers could swell to 1,500 in 20 years. Authorities in Colombia used contraceptive darts and other methods to control their population, but these drives have had limited success. 

In April, one of the hippos died in Colombia in a collision with an SUV on a highway, near Escobar’s hacienda, as per NBC News.

Meanwhile, 60 of these hippos will be sent to India

Source: ND TV