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Here at the shebeen, we keep an eye on Pablo Escobar’s hippo saga. The late drug lord, who may have been immersed in his own product when he decided to do so, has smuggled four hippos into his private zoo. When Escobar was broken down by the Colombian National Police in 1993, authorities sold all of the animals in his zoo. Except the hippos. In this, the authorities were incredibly stupid. Hippos are murderous, rampaging mountains of beast flesh that fear nothing and can eat boats. (Well, maybe not eat them, but definitely make a great dish of boat hashish.) As far as I’m concerned, hippos can stay in their damn hemisphere, thank you very much.
All four hippos thrived. They have been successful. They have multiplied. There were 80 of them, and then there were 120, and if the Americas weren’t careful we would be overrun with the koudzu hippos from Tierra del Fuego Yukon. BUILD THE WALL NOW!
Sorry, I was briefly overwhelmed by the cross-species panic there.
Today, however, Colombia believes it has solved the problem. Of Washington post:
This year, authorities intervened by using a chemical contraceptive to sterilize the animals without the backlash that would come from the extermination of what has become “the town’s pet.” Developed by the US Department of Agriculture, the drug GonaCon inhibits an animal’s production of sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, putting it in “a non-reproductive state”. The USDA has donated 55 doses of the drug to Colombian wildlife officials.
Why not just shoot them, you might ask. After all, when Pablo Escobar discovered an invasive species was taking root in his business, he did. Unfortunately, the Colombian public would not tolerate it.
But officials haven’t sold the argument that hippos are bad to the public. In fact, some Colombians have grown fond of African transplants over the years, the Washington Post reported earlier this year. They even fueled a fledgling tourism industry. Residents offer visitors game drives and sell hippo-related souvenirs. Souvenir shops in a nearby town sell hippo t-shirts and key chains. At the amusement park built on the ruins of Hacienda NÃ¡poles, tourists discover the lake where dozens of hippos now live. “The hippo is the town’s pet,” said resident Claudia Patricia Camacho in a 2018 article published by the Noticias Caracol news program.
No, no, Claudia, no. The hippopotamus is not a pet. The hippopotamus is two tons of death on four legs. And it’s not as if the hippos of Colombia haven’t already started their favorite recreational pastime: fucking humans.
Authorities have tried to argue over the years that hippos are bad for the country. Environmentalists say they are wreaking havoc on the environment. The nutrients in hippo droppings fuel algal blooms, which reduce oxygen levels in the water. It can kill fish, bringing the local industry to its knees. Hippos can also hurt people. Last year, he bit a breeder’s leg, breaking his leg, hip and several ribs.
The hippo bit this guy’s leg, Claudia, and broke just about every bone south of his breastbone. I sincerely hope the hippo contraception plan will work. This weekend is the Head of the Charles Regatta, one of my favorite local events. I don’t want to read a day in the future that a hippo rampaged upstream towards Memorial Bridge and ate an eight-man shell with all hands.
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