Weird! Colombia Has a… Hippo Problem

Here are some hippo/human interactions from Africa. Don’t run slowly!

Usually “invasive species” are insect pests, reptiles, or fish. But Colombia has a problem with invasive… hippos (!

A wealthy drug lord–who was shot to death by police in 1993–brought in four hippos from Africa to grace his estate. The hippos escaped and wound up in the wild; and today there are 160 of them.

The government would sterilize them, but that costs $10,000 a pop and the hippos don’t like it. Dealing with an angry hippo can be more than slightly dangerous.

Or they’ll ship ’em out to other countries–provided any other countries want them.

Meanwhile, the hippos are happily having babies and expanding their range. So far there haven’t been any perilous brushes with human beings. But that could change. In Africa, hippos kill more people a year than lions or crocodiles do.

We’re going to wind up with some very strange ecosystems if we don’t watch out.

4 comments on “Weird! Colombia Has a… Hippo Problem

  1. Why can’t they shoot them? Does Colombia really need or want wild hippos living in its jungles? Instead of $10,000 to sterilize each one, why not buy a box of ammunition, and for the low cost of a few dollars a bullet, the problem will go away. Of course, it might be dangerous. But I think getting up close and personal to sterilize one, might be a bit riskier. Soon, people will start dying, but of course, a hippo is so much more valuable than a person, so we must keep dangerous beasts living next-door to some folks.

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