News from the Natural World: Colombia's cocaine Hippos have used the famous Frankenstein Defence in an attempt to halt their extermination.
News from the Natural World: Colombia’s cocaine Hippos have used the famous Frankenstein Defence in an attempt to halt their extermination. Colombia’s most famous son, human dandruff snorter Pablo Escobar may have been killed in 1993 but his influence continues to be felt in the country. Hippopotamuses brought to Colombia as part of Escobar’s private zoo at his ranch, Hacienda Napoles, have bred so successfully that there is serious concern over their environmental impact. A new study by researchers at Mexican and Colombian universities brought this to light. The Hippos have spread out from their original home, some 100 miles east of the city of Medellin. They have dispersed around the Magdalena river basin and their population continues to grow steadily. The study was published in the January edition of the journal Biological Conservation. The authors recommend that Colombia’s Cocaine Hippos be culled. This is to prevent long-term negative effects on the local environment. But other scientists are calling for a castration program to control the hippo population. In addition, they cited concerns over animal welfare and the attachment of some locals to their new neighbours. Researchers say there are probably more than 80 hippos in the area today. This is up from 35 in 2012. Furthermore, they worry that the hippos will continue to spread throughout Colombia if no action is taken. But the plucky Hippos have come up with a rather unique defence to halt their destruction.