Drug lord Pablo Escobar’s hippo died the same way his former boss did, hunted down
and shot by the authorities for posing a danger to the public.
The hippopotamus that escaped three years ago from a ranch once
owned by Escobar was killed on orders of the government, Colombian
media reported on Friday .
Cocaine king Escobar, who was gunned down by police on a Medellin
rooftop in 1993, was so flush with cash that he flew in hundreds of
exotic animals, including kangaroos, flamingos, elephants, rhinos and
Many were given away to zoos after his death and collapse of his
drug empire. But two dozen hippos continued to live and mate on his
former estate in northern Colombia.
A male and a female escaped in 2006, freely roamed the wetlands near
the Magdalena River and even reproduced in the wild. They were rarely
seen and became something of a local legend until two journalists found
them grazing 100 kilometers (65 miles) away from the ranch last month.
Colombia’s environmental agency ordered the animals killed, saying
they were carriers of disease and posed a risk to local communities.
Colombians were shocked by television images broadcast on Friday of
the carcass of the male hippopotamus surrounded by hunters and
soldiers. Animal rights groups denounced the killing.
“They could have been captured and kept in a safe place until a
permanent refuge was found for them,” said Marcela Ramirez of a local
group called Animal Protection Network.
The hunt was still on for the surviving adult hippo.