Bolivia and Peru Show Interest in Rescuing Invasive Hippos


In a recent event, Bolivia and Peru have expressed their interest in participating in the translocation process of the invasive hippos currently residing in the Magdalena region in Antioquia. As part of their proposal, Peru has stated a precise number of hippos they are interested in taking – 10 individuals.

This comes in response to the ecological crisis instigated by the near 200 hippos estimated to be situated in the basin of Magdalena Medio. As a proactive measure and to mitigate the environmental impact, various countries have proposed to rehome some of the hippos.

So far, apart from Peru and Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, India, and the Philippines have also shown interest in accommodating these mammoth creatures. However, only proposals from India and the Philippines are considered viable at the moment, as they have met important criteria such as environmental conditions, infrastructure, budget and a well-planned schedule. Such meticulous planning is crucial to ensure that the relocation complies with the regulations set forth by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

While the translocation process is underway, local agencies have resumed sterilizing the hippos, targeting 40 individuals. This approach, however, has faced various setbacks, primarily due to the hippos learning to avoid baits, making their capture more difficult.

The slow pace of these measures has prompted calls from expert biologists for the national government to establish an euthanization protocol for these hippos. Amid the environmental crisis, such extreme measures are vital to contain the damage caused.

While these discussions and plans unfold, the eyes of Bolivia and Peru – and indeed of the world – will remain focused on Antioquia’s natural spaces and their most unusual inhabitants.