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US judge: Pablo Escobar's cocaine hippos legally 'people'

  A U.S. court order says the offspring of hippos once owned by Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar can be recognized as people with lega...

 


A U.S. court order says the offspring of hippos once owned by Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar can be recognized as people with legal rights in the U.S.

 

The case involves a lawsuit against the Colombian government over whether to kill or sterilize the hippos whose numbers are growing at a fast pace.

 

The Associated Press reported that the "cocaine hippos" were left abandoned after Escobar died in a shootout with authorities in 1993. In the last eight years, the hippos have increased from 35 to between 65 and 80.

 

An animal rights group is hailing the order as a milestone victory in the long-sought effort to sway the U.S. justice system to grant animals personhood status.

 

But a legal expert in Colombia says the order won't carry any weight where the hippos live.

 

The AP reported that a government agency has begun to sterilize some of them.

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