Local police have confirmed that a hippopotamus from the herd of illegal zoo animals belonging to drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, commonly referred to as a “cocaine hippo,” has been killed in a tragic highway accident on Tuesday. Fortunately, the hippo was killed instantly after it was hit by an SUV.
According to Colombian Police, as reported by NBC, the animal had wandered onto the highway in the northwestern section between the cities of Bogotá and Medellín, causing alarm among passing motorists who were unable to stop due to the high speed of their vehicles.
The fatal accident took place close to Escobar’s large Hacienda estate, where his original zoo animals were housed. The herd of hippos, numbering around 100, have since dispersed from the former property and have made their way into nearby rivers.
Scientists are concerned that the hippos could have a negative impact on the local ecosystem and have designated them as an invasive species in Colombia.
The crash on Tuesday night highlights the additional risk that hippos, weighing up to 2 tons, can pose to drivers. The occupants of the vehicle involved in the accident on the highway between Bogotá and Medellín in the northwest were unharmed, according to police.
A closer look at the hippo
The hippo was removed from the scene and taken by officials for examination and testing, providing a rare opportunity to study these typically highly aggressive animals.
“The presence of this species poses a danger not only to drivers but also to people in general,” warned biologist David Echeverri López. “Many of the hippos cross the highways where there is heavy traffic, and people need to be cautious and vigilant on the roads.” He emphasized the importance of being aware of the dangers posed by the hippos and taking necessary precautions when driving in areas where they may be present.
López also stated, “Hippos are unpredictable and can attack a person at any moment.” Despite Escobar’s death over 30 years ago, he continues to pose challenges to the Colombian government.
During the 1980s, Escobar built a massive cocaine empire and lived a luxurious lifestyle, which included constructing his own personal zoo on the side. He was a typical drug kingpin who was known for his wealth, whether it was measured in money or cocaine.
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