Colombians grapple with a big problem: wandering hippos

Kabacchi / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 / MGN

DORADAL, Colombia (AP) -- An estimated 80 hippopotamuses, perhaps more, live in the area around the Rio Magdalena, Colombia's principal river, which runs through the center of the country. They're descendants of four hippos brought to the country by infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar for his personal collection.

The rapid growth of their numbers has authorities worried that residents could be attacked -- the 3-ton animals can be aggressive and kill more people per year in Africa than any other wildlife species. Scientists also worry that their presence threatens the area's native flora and fauna. In the 1980s, Escobar kept the hippos in a private zoo on his estate.