The New York Times | 9/11/2009 12:00:00 AM
Colombia Confronts Drug Lord’s Legacy: Hippos
Sept 11--Even in Colombia, a country known for its paramilitary death squads, this hunting party stood out: more than a dozen soldiers from a Colombian Army battalion, two Porsche salesmen armed with long-range rifles, their assistant, and a taxidermist.
As it turned out, Pepe — a hippopotamus who escaped from his birthplace near the pleasure palace built here by the slain drug lord Pablo Escobar — had a following of his own.
The meticulously organized operation to hunt Pepe down, carried out with the help of environmentalists, has become the focus of an unusually fierce debate over animal rights and the containment of invasive species in a country still struggling to address a broad range of rights violations during four decades of protracted war with guerrillas.
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