DRUGS lord Pablo Escobar has left an ecological gift by importing hippos, researchers claim.
The hippos have now multiplied to between 80 and 100Credit: SWNS:South West News Service
Since then, their numbers have grown to an estimated 80 to 100 and made their way into the country’s waterways.
Until now, they have been viewed as an invasive and dangerous pest.
But in the latest study, researchers say they are bringing a lost diversity back to the ecosystem.
The team, including experts from the University of Sussex, say they are a replacement for giant llamas and a mammal called a notoungulate, both now extinct.
Researcher Dr John Rowan said: “While hippos don’t perfectly replace any one extinct species, they restore parts of important ecologies across several species.”
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