Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’ to be moved to Mexico despite locals’ fury

Pablo Escobar's so-called "cocaine hippos" are set to be extracted by the Colombian government and sent to Mexico and India.

But some are less than pleased with the news that their wildlife will receive up to 70 new hippopotamuses', with one going so far as to call it a "plague".

In a startling move and an apparent end to the drug kingpin's hippo legacy, the infamous beasts that were illegally brought in to Escobar's compound are set to be moved out in just two months time.

READ MORE: Dozens of Pablo Escobar's Colombian 'cocaine hippos' to be sent to zoos in India

Although the 70 hippos are set to be split and sent to Mexico and India, experts have warned the troubles are far from over.

Colombia's accidental and booming hippo population was caused by the introduction of two wild beasts into Escobar's ranch, with the animals repopulating and surviving after the death of their drug-peddling owner.

Around 160 hippos are now believed to be living in the Colombia, with worrying projections in a recent study showing the population could grow to 1,400 by 2034 if not curbed.

Antioquia governor Aníbal Gaviria and Mexican officials have since agreed to move a batch of 10 hippos to the Ostok animal sanctuary in Sinaloa.

In signing the agreement, Gaviria said: "We must acknowledge that their presence and uncontrolled future growth pose risks to our citizens and visitors. As an invasive species, it could endanger other native species."

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Ernesto Zazueta, the president of the Ostok sanctuary, has hit back at those that believe Colombia are sending them a "plague" in the form of hippos, El Pais reported.

Speaking on the "radical move", Zazueta said: "It didn't make sense to take one or two hippos, but enough to bring the population down [in Colombia].

"I've heard some people are worried and say, 'Why are you bringing a plague here?' But Ostok is a closed sanctuary. It's not a zoo and can't be accessed from the street. We have containment areas for these animals."

Transfers for the hippo unit will begin just two months from now, as Gaviria says documents that provide a "passport for the hippopotamuses" are needed.

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