Fisherman mauled by Pablo Escobar’s escaped cocaine hippos in front of young son

A 'cocaine hippo' that belonged to deceased drug lord Pablo Escobar attacked a man who out fishing with pals.

Escobar, who was shot dead in December 1993, bought four hippos to live at his Hacienda Napoles estate in Puerto Triunf which have bred to become a growing family of around 80.

Many of Escobar’s other animals were captured and relocated after his death.

However, the hippos proved difficult to catch and have were allowed to stay on the land but soon escaped to an area around the Magdalena River where they began to grow in numbers,

On October 31, a man was attacked by a hippo leaving him hospitalised with multiple injuries, according to the news site Infobae.

Jhon Aristides Saldarriaga Marquez, 31, was fishing at a nearby lake with two men and his nine-year-old son when the hippo struck.

It is believed the injured man was instinctively attacked by a mother protecting her young calf, in the second report of a hippo attack made in the last year.

He told the publication: “The animal came after me, it hit me in the eye. I backed away and managed to run a bit, but I tripped and the hippo attacked me. I think it had a baby with it.”

Tulio Hernan Ramirez, director of the San Esteban de Puerto Triunfo Health Cooperative, said: “The victim had several injuries to his left arm, the left side of his chest, as well as a blow to the head.”

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Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’ hit the headlines last month when a US court ruled that they should be legally considered people to save them from being culled by Colombian authorities who consider them to be an "invasive species."

The District Court for the Southern District of Ohio declared them to be the first animals to be recognised as ‘interested persons’ in US history on October 15.

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