Landmark Animal Personhood Case Proceedings from US and Colombia

After the death of Pablo Escobar, the hippos he had smuggled into Colombia thrived and reproduced. Colombian authorities have been discussing whether to cull approximately 100 hippos to curb the population. Since Colombia allows animals to sue to protect their interests, the US-based Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) applied for two wildlife experts in Ohio to give depositions arguing for the use of one contraceptive over another to control the population of this community of hippos. The US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio granted the application that the hippos themselves as parties to the lawsuit were “interested persons” under the US statute allowing for depositions to be taken in the US in support of a foreign case, thereby becoming the first US Court to accept the premise that hippos are legal persons. Read more here.