Greetings friends of Project.Hope, I estimate that you have already heard or read news related to the "Colombian Narco Hippos" or "Cocaine Hippos", specifically news related to the alleged environmental havoc being caused by the Hippos introduced in the 80's to Colombian territory by the famous Colombian drug trafficker, terrorist and politician Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, specifically to his private zoo located on the banks of the Magdalena River.
Now before going into details, first I want to contextualize information about hippos, these animals are ungulate mammals of the family Hippopotamidae, of African origin, semi-aquatic habitat and eco-physiology of tropical climates, from the biological aspect this species is characterized by exhibiting an exclusively herbivorous feeding behavior, etymologically the term hippo refers to the words híppos (horse) and potamós (river) whose combination means "River Horse"..
Fig. 2 The hippopotamus is currently threatened because, as a result of the establishment of towns and cities on the margins of lakes and rivers. Image of public domain, Author: CatrinAdams, 2016
Hippopotamuses are the most robust semi-aquatic species, physiologically they reach sexual maturity at 5 years of age, they have polygamous behavior, females have a gestational period of 8 months very similar to humans, with the difference that after giving birth females take up to 17 months to ovulate again.
It should be noted that the existence of hippopotamuses is currently threatened because, as a result of the establishment of towns and cities on the margins of lakes and rivers, their natural spaces are increasingly reduced, in addition to irrational poaching also represents another element of danger, hence the reason why this species has been declared as vulnerable.
In this sense, it is important to highlight that although hippos are in a vulnerable situation that threatens their existence, recently the Colombian scientific society has reported that the hippopotamuses initially transferred to Colombian territory by Pablo Escobar reproduced at an accelerated rate, because they do not have natural predators such as lions and crocodiles, Today they are the largest herd of hippopotamuses outside Africa, a situation that affects the local ecosystem by inducing the displacement of wild, native and endangered species, such as the manatee, as well as altering the chemical composition of water bodies and directly affecting fishing activity.
According to Colombian scientists, the accelerated reproduction of hippopotamus in Colombian territory represents an "Ecological Bomb", so they propose to start using slaughter and castration practices as a method to mitigate the environmental impact. I look forward to hearing your views on this controversial issue.
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES CONSULTED:
 Duarte F. Pablo Escobar: Why scientists want to kill Colombia's hippos. BBC World Service. 2020. Article: Online access
 Naef P. “Narco-heritage” and the Touristification of the Drug Lord Pablo Escobar in Medellin, Colombia. Journal of Anthropological Research. 2018; 74: 4. Article: Online access
 Economist. How to handle Colombia’s narco-hippos. 2019. Article: Online access