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Pablo Escobarís Hippos: A Growing Problem
BBC ^

Posted on 06/30/2014 10:15:53 AM PDT by nickcarraway

A herd of hippopotamuses once owned by the late Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar has been taking over the countryside near his former ranch - and no-one quite knows what to do with them.

It was in 2007, 14 years after Escobar's death, that people in rural Antioquia, 200 miles north-west of Bogota, began phoning the Ministry of Environment to report sightings of a peculiar animal.

"They found a creature in a river that they had never seen before, with small ears and a really big mouth," recalls Carlos Valderrama, from the charity Webconserva.

He went to look, and found himself faced with the task of explaining to startled villagers that this was an animal from Africa. A hippopotamus.

"The fishermen, they were all saying, 'How come there's a hippo here?'" he recalls. "We started asking around and of course they were all coming from Hacienda Napoles. Everything happened because of the whim of a villain."

SNIP

He smuggled in elephants, giraffes and other exotic animals, among them four hippos - three females and one male. And with a typically grand gesture, he allowed the public to wander freely around the zoo. Buses filled with schoolchildren passed under a replica of the propeller plane that carried Escobar's first US-bound shipments of cocaine.

SNIP

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...


TOPICS: Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: cocaine; colombia; escobar; hippos

1 posted on 06/30/2014 10:15:53 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

How many are there now?


2 posted on 06/30/2014 10:21:40 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: nickcarraway

I’ve always wanted to get some life sized concrete hippos and place them in the water in front of the house.


3 posted on 06/30/2014 10:21:47 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: nickcarraway
Sounds like an opportunity to sell hunting licenses.


4 posted on 06/30/2014 10:22:51 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (The GOP-e scum enlisted Democrats to steal the Republican primary. The GOP-e can go to Hell.)
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To: GeronL
They don't reproduce all that fast, so their presence in the ecosystem is a problem that can still be fixed with use of a hunting season or two.

One hippo would feed a village for a while, I bet...

5 posted on 06/30/2014 10:24:45 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: GeronL

‘Nobody knows how many there are. The local environmental authority, which bears responsibility for them, estimates between 50 and 60, with most living in the lake at the park. But 12 are known to have paddled past the flimsy fence and into the nearby Magdalena River - and maybe many more.

‘Here, conditions for hippos are idyllic. The river is slow moving and has plenty of shallows, perfect for larger animals which don’t actually swim but push themselves off banks, gliding through the water. Moreover, the region never experiences drought, which tends to act as a natural brake on the size of herds in Africa.

‘How much the hippos like Colombia can be judged from how much sex they are having. In Africa they usually become sexually active between the ages of seven and nine for males, and nine and 11 for females, but Pablo Escobar’s hippos are becoming sexually active as young as three. All the fertile females are reported to be giving birth to a calf every year.’


6 posted on 06/30/2014 10:26:32 AM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: nickcarraway

Meat!


7 posted on 06/30/2014 10:27:07 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: cripplecreek
I’ve always wanted to get some life sized concrete hippos and place them in the water in front of the house.

I've got a floating alligator head in the pond. People driving by do a double take. The paint has worn off it so it's a drab gray and not scary anymore. The red eyes don't light up anymore either. They were pretty ominous at night.

8 posted on 06/30/2014 10:30:28 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Oberon
Problem is locating the hippos.

I took a trip to the Amazon back in 2006 and went by Escobar’s old home. The smaller tributaries are not easily accessible and that is likely where they went to.

9 posted on 06/30/2014 10:33:53 AM PDT by chrisinoc
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To: ConservingFreedom

Apparently conditions down there are lush compared to Africa.


10 posted on 06/30/2014 10:35:14 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Tax-chick

As members (BIG members) of the deer family—they should be good eating!


11 posted on 06/30/2014 10:35:19 AM PDT by Flintlock
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To: Oberon

read #6. South America is heaven compared to Africa for a hippo, they start reproducing much younger.


12 posted on 06/30/2014 10:36:04 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Flintlock

They’re probably better or worse depending on their diet, age, etc.

Offer a worthwhile bounty. It might get some hunters killed, but some would get rich.

Or, just learn to love your new “native” ruminant species.


13 posted on 06/30/2014 10:36:49 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: GeronL
Might have to plan a hunting trip... :D

I feel it's my duty to do my part for the environment, you know.

14 posted on 06/30/2014 10:48:21 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: Tax-chick

If G-d didn’t want their to be hippos in Colombia, He wouldn’t have sent a drug dealer to bring them there.


15 posted on 06/30/2014 10:51:45 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Oberon

That country is going to have to decide how many hippo’s they are willing to tolerate and then issue hunting licenses for anything above that


16 posted on 06/30/2014 10:54:00 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: nickcarraway

Well-put.


17 posted on 06/30/2014 11:04:36 AM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: nickcarraway

Hippo, meet piranha.


18 posted on 06/30/2014 11:05:34 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: Oberon

I think I read once that more people were killed by Hippos in Africa than by any other animal. Whether that’s true or not, I am sure that mosquitoes and files kill several orders of magnitude more.


19 posted on 06/30/2014 11:08:06 AM PDT by PUGACHEV
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To: nickcarraway

do they taste like chicken?


20 posted on 06/30/2014 11:12:06 AM PDT by jrd (All federal acts,laws,orders,rules regulations regarding firearms, infringe the 2 amendment)
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To: PUGACHEV
I think I read once that more people were killed by Hippos in Africa than by any other animal.

I believe that is true. People in South America who work or play on the river are going to start dying soon. Those are mean sumbiches.

21 posted on 06/30/2014 11:14:25 AM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To win the country back, we need to be as mean as the libs say we are.)
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To: Tax-chick

Valderrama doesn’t recommend eating the meat, in case it is infected with a transmittable disease - one dead hippo was found to be carrying leptospirosis which can cause meningitis - but he does see the complete elimination of male hippos as the most practical solution.


22 posted on 06/30/2014 1:30:31 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: B4Ranch

Test the meat before eating, get your meningitis vaccines ...

True, if you eliminate all males, the females will eventually die of old age, issue gone. Or vice-versa.


23 posted on 06/30/2014 1:33:08 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: Tax-chick
True, if you eliminate all males, the females will eventually die of old age, issue gone.

Craigslist. Just sayin'.

24 posted on 06/30/2014 1:37:27 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

LOL! “Move to Colombia and marry me, citizenship guaranteed!”


25 posted on 06/30/2014 1:38:54 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: Tax-chick

“Hippos seeking hippos” - I mean, y’ever been to Walmart on Saturday afternoon?


26 posted on 06/30/2014 1:40:30 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

Often.


27 posted on 06/30/2014 1:41:41 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: nickcarraway

Great. Columbia has a bunch of inbred hippos running loose.


28 posted on 06/30/2014 1:48:02 PM PDT by Nachoman (libertyarmstx.com is now open!)
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To: Tax-chick

Can narcohippos mate with regular old hippos?


29 posted on 06/30/2014 1:54:28 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Tax-chick
True, if you eliminate all males, the females will eventually die of old age, issue gone. Or vice-versa.

That, or they'll move in together, start wearing plaid flannel shirts, carry their oversized wallets on chains connected to their belt loops, and get jobs as democrat cabinet secretaries.

30 posted on 06/30/2014 1:57:46 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: shibumi

‘Potamus ping!


31 posted on 06/30/2014 1:58:39 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: nickcarraway

One assumes ... it can only be a generation or two since they were imported from Africa, too soon for much genetic drift.


32 posted on 06/30/2014 2:03:43 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: Tax-chick

This could be a wonderful tourism opportunity for Colombia. And one of those hippos may be the next World Cup goalie.


33 posted on 06/30/2014 2:05:15 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Colombia already has eco-tourists. As South American countries go, your risk of violent death or ghastly disease isn’t all that bad there, if you’re careful. Tourists might pay a little extra for the opportunity to see hippos in their ideal habitat.


34 posted on 06/30/2014 2:07:25 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: Tax-chick
Hippos, cocaine, AK47s, FARC. It will be like Romancing the Stone without Michael Douglas and with more fun.
35 posted on 06/30/2014 2:09:42 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Colombia is a big country, for a place that isn’t China/Russia/Canada/US/Brazil. You can probably arrange a tour with plenty of jungle, even a few hippos, but no FARC. Just get an up-to-date map!


36 posted on 06/30/2014 2:17:48 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I don't feel obligated to provide you with a non-boring gun.)
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To: Joe 6-pack; Salamander; kanawa; humblegunner; Eaker; TheOldLady; 50mm; Semper Mark; JoeProBono; ...
It's been a long time
And I've probably left a few folks out,

But we can still get together for a little "Hippo-Bump!"

(Has anyone seen Chet?)

.......never mind.


37 posted on 06/30/2014 3:47:41 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

I thought it said hippies.

Never mind.

[though my suggestion would have been the same]


38 posted on 06/30/2014 4:07:19 PM PDT by Salamander (He ain't heavy, he's my Boa.)
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To: B4Ranch

I don’t know what he knows about infected meat, but that guy was one great midfielder. His passing and distributing of the ball was outstanding.


39 posted on 06/30/2014 6:15:24 PM PDT by gusty
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To: nickcarraway

“I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. Only a hippopatomus will do...”
The little girl who sings that song would be glad to take one off their hands. :)


40 posted on 06/30/2014 6:31:23 PM PDT by kalee
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To: nickcarraway
“Hippos, cocaine, AK47s, FARC. It will be like Romancing the Stone without Michael Douglas and with more fun.”

The drug trade have largely left the Colombian Amazon area. You will still see AK47s in Leticia but it is to guard the gemstone trade. It was very peaceful during my stay there.

41 posted on 07/01/2014 8:40:08 AM PDT by chrisinoc
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To: PUGACHEV

Hippos are the most dangerous vertebrates in Africa in terms of numbers of people killed. Insects, as you note, beat them by a fair margin, but are not vertebrates.


42 posted on 07/01/2014 6:47:51 PM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: shibumi

43 posted on 07/01/2014 7:26:12 PM PDT by kanawa
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