BOGOTA, COLOMBIA — Colombia began on Tuesday Hippopotamus sterilizationdescendants of animals that had been illegally introduced into the nation by the late drug lord Pablo Escobar Within the eighties.
Environmental authorities mentioned two male hippos and one feminine underwent surgical sterilization. It is half of a bigger authorities effort to regulate populations of greater than 100 mammals that roam unsupervised in some rivers.
The plan consists of sterilizing 40 hippos yearly, transporting a few of them to different nations and probably euthanizing them.
The hippos, which unfold from Escobar’s ranch to close by rivers the place they flourished, don’t have any pure predators in Colombia. It has been declared an invasive species Which may disturb the ecosystem.
A bunch of hippos was introduced within the Nineteen Eighties to Hacienda Napoles, Escobar’s non-public zoo that turned a vacationer attraction after his demise in 1993. A lot of the animals reside freely in rivers and reproduce with out management.
Sterilization takes time, as a result of detecting and capturing the aggressive, territorial 3-ton animals is difficult, David Echeverri Lopez, head of the environmental workplace in command of the plan, mentioned in a video distributed to the press.
Heavy rains throughout the area have difficult efforts to seize the animals. Extra grass means “they’ve an oversupply of meals, so catching them with bait turns into extra difficult,” Echeverry mentioned.
The federal government estimates there are 169 hippos in Colombia, particularly within the Magdalena River Basin, and if no motion is taken, the quantity might attain 1,000 by 2035.
When the plan was first introduced, the Setting Ministry mentioned the process was costly — every sterilization prices about $9,800 — and entailed dangers to the hippopotamus, together with allergic reactions to anesthesia or demise, in addition to dangers to well being staff. Animal.