Colombian hippopotamus: Hippos are coming

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Source: The post is based on the article “Hippos are coming” published in the Indian Express on 31st March 2023.

Syllabus: GS – 3: Environment and Bio-diversity Conservation.

Relevance: About Colombian hippopotamus.

News: In the late 1980s, the founder and leader of the Medellin Cartel in Colombia brought a few hippos as a collection of his exotic animals. After his death in 1993, four of the hippopotamus escaped and have since multiplied.

Recently, the Colombian government has decided to relocate 70 such hippopotamus – and 60 are reportedly going to come to India.

Note: These are called as ‘cocaine hippos’ as they were brought to the country by a drug lord.

What is Hippopotamus?

Must read: Hippopotamus

They are also called as river horse.

These are semi-aquatic herbivores, which have often been posited as a “missing link” between land-based and marine mammals (whales, seals, etc).

They are known to kill creatures as massive as the Nile crocodile and kill more humans than any large carnivore in the African continent.

What will be the benefit for India if Colombian hippopotamus arrives in India?

Their arrival to India can serve many a purpose. They will make for a great tourist attraction. Like the cheetahs at Kuno in Madhya Pradesh, the “river horse” could lead to a jump in tourists for whichever state(s) receives them.

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