Columbia is a coping with an invasive inhabitants of hippos. Sure, hippos. It’s a wild story: Within the late Seventies, drug cartel czar Pablo Escobar imported 4 hippopotamuses—three feminine and one male—to a personal property in western Columbia. Within the early Nineteen Nineties, when Escobar lastly surrendered to authorities, the Columbian authorities seized his property—and let the hippos unfastened.

Since then, they reproduced. Rapidly. In keeping with The Washington Put up, there are actually greater than 130 free-roaming “cocaine hippos” residing alongside the Magdalena River in central Columbia. Native to Africa, the species has no pure predators in South America. Like wild “tremendous pigs” in Canada, they’re reportedly pushing out native species, polluting the soil and water, and being aggressive towards folks. (There’s a purpose they’re thought-about one of the harmful sport animals on the planet). If left unchecked, specialists say the inhabitants might attain 600 hippos within the subsequent 15 years.

Authorities have up to now struggled to reply. In a 2009 managed hunt, a hunter pursued and killed one of many hippos whereas being guided by members of the navy. However a public outcry over an ensuing trophy photograph made politicians averse to the inhabitants administration technique—and within the meantime, the hippo inhabitants exploded.

In recent times, officers have undertaken hippo sterilization efforts with little success. As with city deer populations within the U.S., the efforts have confirmed pricey for less than non permanent effectiveness. Final 12 months, native authorities reportedly darted 38 hippos with contraceptives, however they might have darted the identical hippo a number of occasions as a result of they have been unable to distinguish among the many people.

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Now, Columbian authorities have concocted a brand new administration strategy. In keeping with the Related Press, the federal government plans on capturing a minimum of 70 hippos and transferring them to sanctuaries and zoos in India and Mexico. The plan comes with a excessive price ticket and it stays to be seen if it will likely be profitable. Every hippo will must be contained in a customized enclosure that prices $10,000. Chartering a airplane able to carrying 20 to 30 hippos will then price round $400,000 for a flight to Mexico and $900,000 to India.

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