Colombia has decided to sterilize Pablo Escobar’s cocaine hippos so they can stop them from breeding as an alternative to just flat out killing the 80 members of the invasive species.
This is definitely the more humane option for dealing with the hippos, who have thrived in Colombia ever since they were brought to the country by Pablo Escobar in the 80s, mainly because they have no predators in the area.
However, some groups are still concerned that the Colombian government might change their mind on the cocaine hippos and decide to just cull them and be done with it.
That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit at a US federal court to have the hippos classified as “interested persons.”
Luckily for animal lovers, the US federal court has ruled that the Colombian hippo population should have the same legal rights as people. This decision is thought to be the first time that this legal status has been given to animals.
Christopher Berry, the ALDF’s managing attorney, says that the district court order “will help the hippos in their lawsuit not to die – that’s the immediate impact of it.”