Home NEWS-SCIENCENEWS-NYT-SCIENCE Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions

Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions

by staff
Pablo Escobar’s Hippos Fill a Hole Left Since Ice Age Extinctions


When Pablo Escobar died in 1993, the Colombian drug kingpin’s four adult African hippopotamuses were forgotten. But the fields and ponds along the Magdalena River suited them. One estimate puts their current population at 50 to 80 animals: By 2050 there may be anywhere from 800 to 5,000 in a landscape that never before knew hippos.

They aren’t the only herbivores showing up in unexpected places. In Australia, feral camels roam the outback. Antelope are a common sight in rangelands from Texas to Patagonia. And feral hogs are everywhere. Conventional wisdom holds that these animals are causing new, and potentially damaging, impacts to beleaguered ecosystems. But a study published Monday…



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