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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Pablo Escobar's Hippos Recognized as Legal Persons by US Court

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

In a first, the US Federal Court has recognized animals as legal persons, specifically, the descendants of Pablo Escobar's hippopotamuses.

The ruling was based on a US law that allows an "interested person" in foreign litigation to request US depositions to help their case. A lawsuit was filed last July in Colombia on behalf of around 100 hippos descended from those acquired by the late gangster Pablo Escobar. Colombia already recognizes legal personhood for animals but wants to cull the hippos to prevent further environmental damage.

The ruling came after the nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed an application seeking to allow two experts in nonsurgical sterilization of wildlife to provide testimony supporting a Colombian lawsuit to stop a cull. At a Federal Court sitting in Ohio, Judge Karen Litkovitz last week granted the request on behalf of the plaintiffs, the "Community of Hippopotamuses Living in the Magdalena River".

The ruling was based on a US law that allows an "interested person" in foreign litigation to request US depositions to help their case. "In granting the application, the court recognized the hippos as legal persons with respect to that statute," ALDF said in a statement.

ALDF's managing attorney, Christopher Berry, told the AFP news agency the court order would "help the hippos in their lawsuit not to die — that's the immediate impact of it." "More broadly speaking, it's the first concrete example of a US court authorizing animals to exercise a legal right in the animal's own name," he added.

The lawsuit was filed last July on behalf of the hippos by attorney Luis Domingo Gomez Maldonado in Colombia, which already recognizes legal personhood for animals. Its aim is to stop the government from euthanasing the animals, who now number around 100, which is up significantly from the single male and three females Escobar initially acquired.

Before he was shot dead by police in 1993, the cocaine baron purchased exotic animals to live on his ranch, including flamingos, giraffes, zebras, and kangaroos. After his death, all but the hippopotamuses were sold to zoos.

The semi-aquatic ungulates were left to roam Escobar's Hacienda Napoles estate and continued breeding. They are now believed to be the largest so-called "bloat" of hippopotamuses outside of Africa. This has had detrimental consequences for the local ecology, as well as reported attacks on local fishermen.

While litigation is ongoing, Colombian authorities announced on October 15 that they had begun sterilizing the pod using the contraceptive drug GonaCon, administered by dart guns, and through surgical sterilization. The lawsuit contends it is unknown if the Colombian government will use the drug safely and whether it still intends to kill some of the animals.

It is seeking to provide the hippos with another contraceptive, called PZP (porcine zona pellucida), which has successfully been used in zoos and is recommended by Animal Balance, an international organization that focuses on sterilization of animals.

Thanks to the US Federal Court order, the testimony of Animal Balance's wildlife experts, Elizabeth Berkeley and Richard Berlinski, can be used to bolster Maldonado's case.

Source ABC


  1. Animo Sicarios !!!
    Pablo Escobar was a ok. He does not compare to the inteligence leadership and legandary status of el Patron !

    "Somos de La Chapiza viejo"

    1. Great open line �� since 006 never responds.

      Great they are opening the border lines to enter US from Tijuana, but must also show proof of covid19 vaccine shot.

    2. Yes but how safe is it for tourist to visit Tijuana?

    3. 4:00 just stay out of the whore houses and your fine.

    4. 619 what's the problem with the white house?????????

    5. The problem with the White house is that its White...Now ask him about the Whore houses.

  2. Only cause hippos don't like Mexicans...

    1. I think that only applies to Columbian hippos.

    2. 🤣🤣🤣 I remember that line from Narcos when Pablo told Miguel Angel Felix 🤣


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