Colombia has introduced plans to manage its hippo inhabitants amid fears it’s spiralling uncontrolled after drug kingpin Pablo Escobar launched them to the nation.
The federal government mentioned they plan to curb numbers by means of sterilisation and the switch of the mammals to different international locations – in addition to presumably by euthanasia.
It comes after a gaggle of hippos have been delivered to Escobar’s personal zoo on his property within the Eighties. It turned a vacationer attraction after his dying in 1993.
However the animals additionally went into close by rivers – and have since flourished as they haven’t any pure predators in Colombia.
There are an estimated 169 hippos within the nation, with most positioned within the Magdalena River basin.
Officers have declared the animals an invasive species and warned that, if no measures are taken, their inhabitants might rise to greater than 1,000 by 2035.
Atmosphere Minister Susana Muhamad mentioned the primary stage of the plan could be the surgical sterilisation of 40 hippos a yr, which can begin subsequent week.
The duty is dear and tough, with every process costing about $9,800 (£7,900). The ministry mentioned the hippos have been dispersed over a big space, and warned they’re territorial and infrequently aggressive.
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Ms Muhamad mentioned officers had additionally contacted authorities in Mexico, India and the Philippines, and have been evaluating plans to ship 60 hippos to India.
She added: “We’re engaged on the protocol for the export of the animals.
“We aren’t going to export a single animal if there is no such thing as a authorization from the environmental authority of the opposite nation.”
In April, one of Escobar’s former hippos died after being hit by an SUV on a freeway from Bogota to Medellin.
Scientists have warned that the hippos’ faeces can change the composition of rivers and will affect the habitat of native manatees and capybaras.