Pablo Escobar's 'Cocaine Hippos' Are Coming to India at a High Cost of $3.5 Mn

The boom in the hippo population has now posed an environmental challenge.

2 min read

After the African Cheetahs from Namibia, it seems like the deceased drug lord Pablo Escobar’s hippopotamuses, or hippos, will soon be moved to India.  

According to a tweet form the governor of Antioquia province, around 60 hippos will be relocated to a facility in India, and a few others to Mexico.  


History of the 'Cocaine Hippos' 

In the 1980s, the cocaine baron brought these exotic hippos to Colombia. But after his death in 1993, Columbian authorities moved most animals from Escobar's possession to the zoo except, the hippos, who were too difficult to transport.

Instead, they were left to roam freely in the marshy areas with large patches of green grassland and no predators, leading to a population explosion.

According to the Columbian government, around 150 hippopotamuses spread far beyond Escobar's former ranch of Hacienda Napoles.  

However, the boom in the hippo population now poses an environmental challenge. The environment ministry declared the hippos an invasive species last year.  

Operation ‘Translocating’

This operation is named "translocating," governor Aníbal Gaviria explained in an interview with the Colombian outlet Blu Radio.  

The idea behind the relocation is that it involves moving the hippos from one country that was not their native habitat to another that was also not their natural habitat. 

The goal was "to take them to countries where these institutions have the capacity to receive them, and to (home) them properly and to control their reproduction," Gaviria said. 

Moving the 'cocaine hippos' to India and Mexico seems like the best solution, but it does come with a high cost of $3.5 million.  

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