Quick question: who remembers Pablo Escobar? For you younglings who weren’t alive in the eighties, or who haven’t binged Narcos on Netflix, Pablo Escobar was a vicious drug baron who controlled more than 80 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the U.S. during the 1980s. His net worth was estimated at more than $30 billion at one point. He was also responsible for killing thousands of people while he terrorized Colombia. So we can safely conclude that Pablo Escobar was a total dick.
But before Escobar started killing anyone and everyone who got in his way, he fashioned himself into a Colombian Robin Hood. He bought a vast ranch called “Hacienda Napoles,” where he built giant concrete dinosaurs for his kid to play on. Then he opened his ranch to the public.
Local school kids would take field trips there, entering beneath a sign with the actual plane he used to smuggle his first shipments of coke into the U.S. Which is totes like Robin Hood. Ship coke to America, and then let poor kids look at dinosaur statues.
Escobar also built himself a zoo. He smuggled in rare exotic animals, including elephants, giraffes, and hippos. He was living that Cameron Crowe movie We Bought a Zoo, just with less Matt Damon and way more cocaine-fueled murders.
But in 1993, the Colombian military (with an assist from the CIA) finally killed Escobar. His property was confiscated, including his little zoo. Most of the exotic animals were shipped to other zoos around the country. Except for the hippos, which apparently no zoos wanted. (WTF, zoos?) So the hippos were left to chill in their murky lake on Escobar’s ranch. Eventually the hippos got tired of lake life, and spread out into the river nearby. And now Colombia has a cocaine hippo problem.
These hippos aren’t addicted to cocaine, mind you. That’s just their nickname, since coke brought them to Colombia in the first place. By that logic, I should be nicknamed “Marijuana Led Zeppelin Lava Lamp,” since that combination resulted in my conception.
The cocaine hippos love living in Colombia. They have all the veggies they could eat, tons of water to wallow in, and no natural predators. And apparently they’re DTF. Escobar started with four hippos, but the population has grown to over 60.
The problem is hippos can be incredibly dangerous to people, despite their general floopiness. So the government has discussed moving them (sad), sterilizing them (sadder), and killing them (saddest). The local people said don’t you dare kill our cocaine hippos, so the hippos are still enjoying their Colombian digs, for now.
Escobar’s old ranch was recently transformed into a theme park, with a decidedly Jurassic Park feel. Which got me thinking… Colombia should fully embrace the “Dinos run amok” vibe here. Except instead of genetically created T-Rexes, it’s cocaine hippos.
Let’s rip Jeff Goldblum’s shirt open and get him on a plane to Hippo Park this instant. And what’s better than Chris Pratt riding his motorcycle with a pack of raptors? Chris Pratt riding his motorcycle with a herd of floopy hippos, that’s what!
Get some movie studios on the phone right now, Colombia. I mean, Hollywood has done it’s fair share of coke, so I figure they owe you a solid.