Colombian Ecosystem Thriving Thanks to Former Drugs Kingpin

Nature |

When you hear the name of Pablo Escobar, just about anyone from Latin America will shudder at the mere mention. The man was a tyrant, there really is no way to avoid using that term. However, while much of what he done was a major net negative for the good people of Colombia and wider South America, the drug kingpin did do one act of good in his time on this planet. He got very attached to a gang of hippos and decided to have them as pets.

Despite being non-natives to the land, his hippos are still living today. In fact, they are actually thriving. They have decided to start breeding like crazy, to the point where they are leading the charge to restore the decaying Colombian eco-system. But how?


They have taken the place of many long-extinct animals and are playing a major role in returning diversity back to the Colombian ecosystem. This is a major part of the local diversity that is now returning in its droves. The introduction of herbivores like a hippo can be a useful solution as it can help to add a replacement for extinct species that used to do a lot of good for the local area.

They can help to restore various traits that have been lost to the nature of Colombia through their power and their presence. Since many animals aren’t too keen on tangoing with the mighty hippo, they have gained a sense of dominance and control over some parts of natural Colombia.


The entrance gate to 'Hacienda Napoles'. The airplane above the entrance was the first airplane Escobar used to smuggle cocaine

The four hippos that were left behind by Escobar have enjoyed a breeding frenzy and today the four he had have turned into numbers close to one hundred. They have taken to the rivers of the country and have actually started to provide a net benefit to the entire region.

Once seen as pests who simply caused problems, this new study shows us that the hippos could actually be the saviour that everybody missed. They have very similar traits to herbivores that no longer exits, meaning that they are beginning to play a role in restoring many previously long-lost traits into Colombian nature.

Introducing herbivores into the Colombian natural cycle was first deemed an irresponsible decision by a man driven mad by power. Now, after all these years, it might be one of the few non-destructive things that Escobar managed. 

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Noah Jones

I spent most of my earlier days writing at local Newspapers in L.A. I'm a graduate of UCLA having studied Journalism and Creative Writing, earning two different degrees in one. So have fun reading and feel free to write.