Colombia: US court wants to save Escobar hippos from being shot

Rescue for the Escobar hippos in sight. A US court has recognized animals as legal persons for the first time – more precisely, the descendants of the hippos of the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (1949-1993). The decision of a district court in the state of Ohio “will help the hippos in their process not to die,” said Christopher Berry, of the animal welfare organization Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) on Thursday the AFP news agency. The hippos can now hope for support from the USA in court.

Probably the largest herd of hippos outside of Africa lives in Colombia. The now around 100 animals come from a couple that Escobar kept in a private zoo. After his death in 1993, almost all animals were sold, including giraffes, zebras and kangaroos. Only the hippos stayed and have been reproducing rapidly ever since.

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