In a quest for food, two hippopotamuses have been spotted grazing cattle fields and wandering through the town of Puerto Triunfo, outside of Medellin in Colombia’s Antioquia province.

Happy Hippo. Image by Art G. / CC BY 2.0

Hungry hippos in Colombia. Image by Art G. / CC BY 2.0

Biologists say the animals, descendants of a group brought to the country for drug baron Pablo Escobar’s private zoo in the 1980s, are being forced to find food due to a drought.

Specialists are awaiting dart guns to sedate the animals so they can be moved and local children have been warned to keep away from them. The group of four hippos smuggled by Escobar all of those years ago has propagated to more than 60, as they thrive in the Colombian climate and enjoy its waterways and rich vegetation. When Escobar’s ranch, Hacienda Napoles, was confiscated in the early 1990s, the hippos stayed behind in the lakes around the property after the other exotic animals were dispersed to zoos around the country. Read more: