Pablo Escobar's former manor is now a theme park. Watch out for the hippos.

Pablo Escobar's Escaped Hippos

Pablo Escobar's Escaped Hippos

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
June 26 2013 11:15 AM

A Drug Lord's Hippos Go Forth and Multiply

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Notorious Colombian cocaine lord Pablo Escobar once lived in a sprawling estate known as Hacienda Nápoles. He spent his days riding his hovercraft over its many lakes, wandering among his collection of vintage cars, and strolling through his zoo filled with hippos and exotic birds.

Escobar was killed in a hail of gunfire by the Colombian police in 1993, after which the Hacienda retreat became dilapidated. It has since been revived—this time as a theme park. There have been some problems, however. Locals have been known to sneak in—on one occasion with a backhoe—and dig up the lawn and floors in search of treasure they believe Escobar buried there. 


Meanwhile the four hippos Escobar imported have long since escaped. The resulting group of wild hippopotamuses is now estimated at around 40. In 2009 a aggressive hippo named Pepe was found 62 miles away and killed by the Colombian military. The herd is ruled by an alpha male named Pablo.

Abandoned Theme Parks:

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