(Bogotá) A hippopotamus was fatally hit by a truck on Tuesday evening on a highway in Colombia, where this unusual legacy of the late drug lord Pablo Escobar is considered an invasive species, firefighters said.

The animal, weighing more than a ton, was hit on the highway linking Bogota to Medellín, in an area near a property that belonged to Pablo Escobar, told AFP Maria Magdalena Pérez, commander of the fire department. of the municipality of Puerto Triunfo, in the department of Antioquia (northwest).

The front of the truck involved in the accident was destroyed, she added, adding that its driver was unharmed.

In the late 1980s, the drug baron, who was killed in a shootout with police in 1993, set up a small herd of hippos at his hacienda. Over the years, the latter reproduced without control in a marshy area. It would now number nearly 150 individuals.

This is not the first time a traffic accident involving a hippo has occurred in the area. In December, a collision between a car and one of these mammals from Africa had occurred, without causing any injuries. The imposing animal had survived and fled.

The Colombian Ministry of the Environment declared the species invasive in 2022, paving the way for possible hunting. A sterilization program was attempted, but failed. Experts believe that its uncontrolled reproduction poses a threat to local people and wildlife.

In March, the governor of the department of Antioquia announced a plan to transport nearly half of the herd to sanctuaries in Mexico and India, a move estimated to cost some $3.5 million.