(DailyDig.com) – Pablo Escobar was a cocaine drug lord in Colombia who likely had more money than he knew what to do with. This led him to purchase exotic animals like giraffes, zebras, and even hippopotamuses. While police shot Escobar in 1993, it seems his many animals continue to cause problems in Colombia.
After he died, many of the drug lord’s animals went to zoos. His hippos were an exception; authorities allowed them to stay on the drug lord’s property under the assumption that the four animals weren’t likely to cause problems.
Well, that was nearly three decades ago, and now they’ve reproduced.
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Authorities presented the idea of killing them as a previous attempt to neuter the males proved almost disastrous. Colombians, however, don’t necessarily agree. A local man by the name of Luis Domingo Gómez Maldonado recently came to the legal defense of the huge creatures, insisting that authorities sterilize them to prevent further reproduction.
So far, authorities say they’ve sterilized several hippos using a drug called GonaCon. But, Maldonado believes the chemical poses a threat to the hippos and is pushing for the use of a birth control drug known as PZP instead. He feels this safer alternative will allow them to live out their lives in peace.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) plans to continue monitoring the hippopotamuses to ensure that none are killed. Experts believe that only 80 to 120 of the introduced species remain in South America at the present point in time.
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