Hippopotami Recognized as Legal Persons by Courts in Colombia and the United States

In a lawsuit brought on behalf of the progeny of hippos smuggled into Columbia by Pablo Escobar, courts in Colombia and the United States have recognized the hippos as legal persons for purpose of bringing a lawsuit to protect the introduced species from being culled. Colombian authorities have been discussing killing the population of approximately 100 hippos since 2009, and attorneys have filed a lawsuit on their behalf since Colombia allows animals to sue to protect their interests. The Animal Defense League Fund applied on behalf of the hippos for two wildlife experts from Ohio to share their expertise about non-surgical sterilization. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio granted the application, thereby accepting the underlying legal premise of the suit that the hippos are legal persons in the process.