First hippopotamus-caused traffic accident in Colombia leaves animal dead

Colombia has logged its first hippopotamus-caused road traffic accident after a car crashed into one of the animals at high speed, leaving the vehicle mangled and the two-tonne mammal lying lifeless and bloodied across a highway.

The hippo was declared dead soon after the crash on Tuesday night in the municipality of Doradal on a highway connecting the cities of Bogotá and Medellín, local environmental authorities said.

The car’s driver was reportedly unharmed, though images show that the front end of the vehicle was almost entirely destroyed and debris from the crash and blood from the hippo’s carcass was smeared across the tarmac.

The hippo is a descendant of four animals imported from Africa to Colombia by Escobar at the height of the drug lord’s power in the 1980s.

The hippos escaped following Escobar’s death, and with no predators in the Colombian countryside, they have multiplied into a plague of 150, becoming a threat to local people and a headache for Colombia’s environment ministry.

Hippo attacks on people have become more common in recent years, as the animals are highly territorial.

Residents in the state of Antioquia live in growing fear of the invasive animals, who are jeopardising the livelihoods of local fishers and endangering the many animal species that inhabit Colombia’s principal river

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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