More

Nature

The Hunt for Escobar’s Hippos

Synopsis

A Narcos meets Jurassic Park meets Blue Chip Wildlife Documentary.
Based in the “magical realism” world of Colombia – where fact is sometimes stranger than fiction – this film tells an extraordinary story: ‘The Hunt for Escobar’s Hippos’.

Hacienda Nápoles in rural Colombia was once the haunt of billionaire psychopath Pablo Escobar, who just so happened to have a soft spot for exotic animals – particularly Hippopotami!

During the excesses of his reign of terror, extorting billions of dollars from the illicit trafficking of cocaine to the USA, he ordered his henchmen to organise four of these gigantic beasts to be captured in Africa and delivered by plane to his notorious playboy ranch. The hippos were to be shown off as a ‘novelty act’ to impress and entertain his drug cartel cronies. In so doing, Pablo Escobar unwittingly spawned a Colombian alien animal invasion;  a real life Jurassic Park-story (all complete with concrete dinosaur statues!) – with potentially terrifying consequences.

Having broken down the fences and escaped the notorious drug baron’s exotic zoo, one of the most deadly animals on Earth is now running riot on the streets and infiltrating the wilderness of Colombia. Today, rumours circulate that as many as 100 hippos occupy the country; creatures that kill more people in Africa than any other megafauna including elephants, rhinos and lions!

Compounding the problem, Colombia is proving to be a paradise for African hippos as there are no natural predators and a year-round abundance of water and luscious grass to feed on. In fact, the conditions are proving so favourable that Pablo’s so-called “Cocaine Hippos” are believed to be breeding at twice the underlying rate of their African cousins!

The Colombian hippo situation is a ticking ecological time bomb in urgent need of defusing. As the largest alien invader on the planet, these formidable creatures not only pose a serious threat to human lives, but also to the country’s native wildlife and ecosystem. Aggressively confrontational and territorial, if they reach the Amazon basin as feared by scientists, the consequences will be catastrophic.

To investigate the situation and hopefully find a solution, Colombian vet, Gina Paola Serna Trujillo, who has been tasked by the Government to contain the situation, is calling in the services of South African big game capture expert, Chris Hobkirk. Together they are on a  dangerous and risky mission to find and deal with Escobar’s terrifying legacy.

But is the challenge too great, the hour too late?