Hippopotamuse, brought to Colombia as part of Escobar’s private zoo of his wrench, Hacienda Napolis, has achieved so much success, according to a new study by researchers at Mexican and Colombian universities, that their environmental impact and serious concerns over human safety is.
Hippos have spread beyond their original home, which extends around the Magdalena River Basin, about 100 miles east of the city of Medellin, in the Department of Antilukia as their population continues to grow.
The authors of the study, published in the January edition of the journal Biological Conservation, suggest that hippos should be pulled to prevent long-term negative effects, but other scientists are calling for a castration program to control the hippo population, Who cite concerns over animals. Kalyan and the attachment of some locals to their new neighbors.
In the 1980s, Escobar imported one male and three female hippos to join his effort. After his death, other species of exotic animals were transferred, but hippos were abandoned because they were difficult to catch and transport according to studies.
Hippos soon began to spread to the surrounding area, but were stopped after being publicly stopped due to government efforts.
A sterilization campaign was launched instead, but it has done little to slow the progress of hippos.
According to the study, four men were given births and two women were sterilized from 2011 to 2019, but this seems to have “no significant effect on reproduction.”
Researchers say there are more than 80 hippos in the area today, up from 35 in 2012, and they worry that hippo will continue to spread throughout Colombia if no action is taken.
The study also cites research showing the negative effects of hippo waste on oxygen levels in the body of water, which may affect fish and eventually humans, and concerns about the possible transmission of diseases from hippos to humans Increases
The study states that hippos are a threat to the livelihood and safety of people in the affected areas, eating or harming crops and engaging in aggressive interactions with humans.
Researchers cited the incidents of a hippo attack in May 2020 in which a 45-year-old man was seriously injured, along with chasing people.
But the study’s authors recommend Enrique Jerda Ordoniz, a biologist at Columbia’s National University, to say the catering program is the way forward.
Zipda said that pulling hippos would be an “easy option”, but it could affect the survival of a species that is endangered in Africa.
Although it is not an easy task to make Hypnos abort, he said, he believes that it is now possible and necessary to do so, before their numbers increase according to a press release from the university.
“Right now, authorities have not considered the species a problem,” Zerda said, “but in the future, when there are 400–500 hippos, it may represent a threat to the existence of other species that feed on Same area. ”
David Echeverie Lopez, head of forests and biodiversity at the Cornare Regional Environment Agency, told CNN that the situation was fragile.
“The choice to kill them has always been on the table,” he said. “Although it is very difficult to imagine that this could happen at this time.”
Although hippos are an invasive species capable of completely transforming local ecosystems, people in the area have habituated them, Echeverri said. He said that they have become the center of tourist attraction.
Some hippos would have to be killed, as it is “practically impossible” to find and move or sterilize them.
“But there are some other animals that are located on lakes and places that allow for a birth control plan, which has sufficient resources available,” said Echeverri, working with NGO Animal Balance. Try to find an alternative solution.