Animal news: “cocaine” hippos and castration

I’m finding this item from Harper’s Weekly Review rather confusing, in multiple ways.

We know about the wandering hippos — them a thing of rags and tatters. But who knew they have been dubbed “cocaine” hippos? It’s not their fault they were owned by a mega drug dealer, is it? I mean, the hippos weren’t snorting.

A court in Ohio ruled that Colombia’s “cocaine hippos”—a herd descended from those owned by Pablo Escobar now roaming the Andes—are legally people. “The surgery itself isn’t the most complicated part,” said a vet tasked with castrating the hippos. “We don’t have those drugs for such enormous creatures available in Colombia.”

And why did this trial take place in Ohio? I’m assuming “Ohio” means our state and isn’t a region in Colombia.

The “legally people” thing is inexplicable to me. As is the connection between the first sentence and the castration.

And, wait — it’s presumably a Colombian vet who said Colombia doesn’t have “those drugs for such enormous creatures…” Is this the Colombia we all think of as the drug production capitol of the western hemisphere?

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