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Rhino Redeployment in Africa Sheds Light on Hippo Time Bomb in Colombia

(Doradal, Colombia) Thanks to a late Colombian drug pin, feral hippos (Hippopotamus amphibious) continue to roam the waterways of this South American country. The often aggressive mammals were once part of an elaborate zoo created by the infamous Pablo Escobar. 

When a majority of the other animal residents were adopted by zoos these monsters proved to be too difficult to handle and were left to fend for themselves. Biologists thought the hippos would eventually die out, solving the problem.

Colombia will employ primitive tactics common to the successful relocation of the bothersome African Rhinoceros in its struggle to control the hippopotamus population in that South American country. Borrowing from well established removal campaigns, large mammals are trapped and exported (often smuggled) to remote locations or in extreme cases eradicated.

Now the government in Bogota is trying desperately to rid the country of the thriving beasts.  Although consistently aggressive toward humans, they are seen as victims, an anomaly of the first degree in a culture that appreciates anomalies. The “cocaine hippos”, as they are called, are an ecological disaster, yet most Colombians are against killing them.

An adult hippopotamus can weight in at 5 tons and live for up to 70 years in a climate like that of the Colombian river valleys. Their impact on fish and other wildlife is horrible according to sources here. It is believed that as many as 120 live in Colombia where no natural predators reside. Short of elimination, blueprints call for a severe culling of the non-native species.

“Hippo castrations are dangerous business,” said Pedro Valasquez, a veterinarian from Bolombolo. “That should be clear enough to anyone with a brain. We’ve tried chemicals, darts with Gonacon contraception and strategic hamlets. One missionary from Oklahoma even tried preaching abstention. So far we report chaos.

Another more cynical approach would be to smuggle the hippos to Miami where they could be processed, ground up, distributed and snorted by druggies, creating an overnight demand and more opportunity for struggling campesinos here.   

– Kashmir Horseshoe