Pablo Escobar’s Hippos to be Sterilized

Drug lord Pablo Escobar had a menagerie of exotic animals on his seven-square-mile Colombian estate called Hacienda Nápoles. When he was killed in 1993, most of the animals died or were taken to zoos. Escobar's collection of hippos, however, were just left in place. These animals are huge, ill-tempered, and dangerous, and they seemed to be getting along fine on their own. Thirty years later, the herd has grown to around 170 hippos, and they've been declared an invasive species in Colombia.

The Colombian government has announced a plan to try to control the hippo population, which could grow to a thousand animals by 2035 if left unchecked. They plan to capture some, kill some, and sterilize some. And now you're thinking the same thing I did when I read the headline: just how do you sterilize a hippopotamus? Not only are they huge, ill-tempered, and dangerous, they also have very thick skin and tend to stay in the water. Read about the plan to sterilize the hippos at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: Paul Maritz


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