Colombia has began sterilising hippos descended from animals illegally dropped at the nation by drug lord Pablo Escobar within the Nineteen Eighties.
The hippos unfold from Escobar’s property into close by rivers, the place they flourished.
There at the moment are greater than 100 of them, prompting the federal government’s plan to regulate the inhabitants.
Two male hippos and one feminine have been surgically sterilised, environmental authorities stated.
The authorities plans to sterilise 40 hippos a 12 months, switch others to totally different international locations, and will euthanise a number of the animals.
The hippos haven’t any pure predators in Colombia and have been declared an invasive species that might upset the ecosystem.
Sterilisation takes time, as a result of recognizing and capturing the territorial, aggressive 3-ton animals is sophisticated, David Echeverry Lopez, chief of the setting workplace in command of the plan, stated.
The quantity of rain has made issues much more troublesome.
More grass means “they have an oversupply of food, so baiting them to capture them becomes even more complicated,” he stated.
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A bunch of hippos was introduced within the Nineteen Eighties to Escobar’s personal zoo, Hacienda Napoles, which turned a vacationer attraction after his demise in 1993.
Most of the animals dwell freely in rivers and reproduce with out management. The authorities estimates there are 169 hippos in Colombia – and that if no measures are taken, there could possibly be 1,000 by 2035.
When the plan was first introduced, the setting ministry stated every sterilisation prices about $9,800, and entails dangers for the hippopotamus, together with allergic reactions to anesthesia or demise – together with risks for the animal well being personnel concerned.