'Cocaine hippos' near former drug lord's estate causing havoc in Colombia

A group of hippopotami known as the "cocaine hippos" is causing problems in Colombia, where CBS News reports they have been breeding out of control.

The hippos in question earned their nickname due to their location near the estate of late drug lord Pablo Escobar, who was fatally shot by police three decades ago.

Although the hippos themselves are not addicted to cocaine, local scientists say they nonetheless are posing a problem because, after being imported to South America by Escobar from their native Africa, they lack natural predators and thus are able to multiply at astonishing rates.

Additionally, say scientists, the hippos' "feces change the composition of the rivers and could impact the habitat of manatees and capybara" that live nearby.

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Because of this, the Colombian government is mulling a plan to take some of the hippos and ship them off to Mexico or India, where they will be more carefully controlled than in their current habitat.

"The hippos would be lured with food into large, iron containers and transferred by truck to the international airport in the city of Rionegro, 150 kilometers away," reports CBS News. "From there, they would be flown to India and Mexico, where there are sanctuaries and zoos capable of taking in and caring for the animals."