Cocaine hippos escaped from Pablo Escobar's zoo
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HORNY cocaine hippos who escaped from Pablo Escobar’s private zoo are set to multiply sixfold into a menacing 1,000 strong army.

The rotund stampede could wreak havoc on Colombian wildlife if government officials don’t speed up culling plans.

Cocaine hippos escaped from Pablo Escobar's zoo

Cocaine hippos escaped from Pablo Escobar’s zooCredit: AP
They are now expected to disrupt wildlife in Columbia

They are now expected to disrupt wildlife in ColumbiaCredit: AFP
Last year the government said they intended to solve the problem with a culling and sterilisation programme

Last year the government said they intended to solve the problem with a culling and sterilisation programmeCredit: AP

Last year, Colombia’s Environment Minister Susana Muhamad announced that they intended to solve the issue.

She said a programme of culling would run alongside a sterilisation programme in which there were plans to send the randy beasts to new homes in other countries.

But since then no action has been taken.

The terrifying creatures were rounded up one year ago but wildlife specialists are complaining that they are still waiting for permits to move more than 70 of them.

The specialists caught and selected the beasts with the intention of transporting them to new homes in Mexico, India and Peru.

Now, alarmingly, experts say their population could rise to up to 1,000 by 2035 if their numbers are not checked.

As well as devastating local flora, bacteria in the hippos’ excrement and urine is toxic to Colombian wildlife, scientists believe.

The hair-raising herd, now nearly 170 strong, was bred in the wild from four original hippos who escaped after the cocaine king was shot dead 30 years ago.

Escobar kept the beasts at his bizarre menagerie at his Hacienda Napoles estate in Puerto Triunfo, Colombia.

Ernesto Zazueta, president of the Association of Zoos, Hatcheries and Aquariums of Mexico (AZCARM), spoke to local media telling them how he is still waiting for the travel permits.

Zazueta said: “There are many rumours that we are no longer willing to continue managing this rescue, I want to clarify that of course we are still willing and with all the procedures and logistics very advanced.”

Of the 169 hippos found in the wild around the Magdalena River, 60 are supposed to be taken to India, ten to Mexico and four to Peru.

Zauzeta said: “We are in the best position to continue working to help the government of Colombia with this great environmental problem.

“However, we also have to be respectful of their decisions and their laws and regulations.

“This is not about a battle, it is about a binational collaboration in matters of wildlife management that today is so indispensable in the face of so many thousands of species becoming extinct in the world.”

According to the expert, one year is too long to carry out this process and the sterilisation programme is not enough.

And culling would not work as it is almost as pricey as trapping and transporting the beasts.

“Such a number of animals reproduce rapidly, and the ecosystem and all its fauna and flora continue to deteriorate,” Zauzeta explained.

He added: “We hope that differences will be put aside and we can work in coordination and professionally to address this environmental problem since every minute that passes the most humanitarian option becomes further away.”

But so far no action has been taken

But so far no action has been takenCredit: AFP
Pablo Escobar kept the beasts at his Hacienda Napoles estate in Colombia

Pablo Escobar kept the beasts at his Hacienda Napoles estate in ColombiaCredit: Getty
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