A court in Cundinamarca is investigating a popular action that calls for a definitive solution to the drug horse invasion by the imported hippopotamus Pablo Escobar, a threat to native fauna and flora in central Colombia’s Magdalena Medio Valley.
Escobar imported three male and one female hippos in 1981, which nearly three decades later grew to around 70 specimens. The animals were released in Antioquia after the drug trafficker died in 1993 and, despite efforts by environmentalists, the situation has continued to deteriorate over time.
The Administrative Court of Cundinamarca has admitted a public action brought by lawyer Luis Domingo Gómez Maldonado, which mentions the intervention of the judiciary. In statements to ‘El Espectador’, Gómez complained that “only a few sterilizations have been achieved” and that while the options are being discussed, “the population is growing”.
However, the attorney has warned that the solution “cannot be euthanasia or control hunt authorization as it is an invasive species”. The lawsuit called for a precautionary measure to seek the victim’s ban, but the judge denied it on the grounds that there was no evidence that there was hunting work.
Species threatened by Escobar’s hippos include the critically endangered manatee, as well as some fish in the area that cannot survive the reduction in oxygen levels from the feces of exotic specimens. There have also been cases of attacks on people.