San Diego and many other U.S. zoos have transferred animals to the private marked. This is what happened to some of the ungulate species that have disappeared from San Diego's collection in the last two decades. Considering the strong opposition (to say the least) by the U.S. government towards Escobar I doubt San Diego would transfer animals directly to a figure like him. Or perhaps this was this before the government had noticed Escobar? The transfer was supposedly in 1981. Alternatively they could have been forwarded indirectly to Escobar. It wouldn't be all that hard to imagine a private dealer getting them from San Diego, only to resell them to Escobar when offered a hefty sum of money. The difference between animals being sold directly and indirectly could easily be missed by the general media. The Magdalena river basin, which includes the Cauca tributary, has more than 200 native fish species and more than half of these are endemic – found no where else in the world. To put this into perspective entire Great Britain has some 50 native freshwater fish species and most of these are widespread species also found elsewhere. Additionally, new species are being discovered regularly from the Magdalena river basin and it seems clear than many more remain. In 2013 three new species of Hemibrycon and two new Ancistrus were described. In 2014 a new Farlowella has already been described. Many of the endemics are extreme habitat specialists that only live in very specific parts of the system. Consequently even a small ecological change can easily result in extinctions and the basin is already in a precarious situation because of pollution and construction of dams. Leaving an animal like a hippo in this system is asking for trouble. I do realize that the general public often don't care about losing a fish species because they are just fish but I hope most zoochatters aren't like that. To the endemic fish list people can add a large number of aquatic invertebrates and two seriously threatened turtles, the Dahl's toad-headed turtle and Magdalena river turtle. The potentially loss of manatees from the basin would be sad but at least the species involved, the West Indian manatee, is also found elsewhere. Are more hippos needed in zoos? I was under the impression that the opposite was the case with a surplus. Especially finding places for males can be difficult because they aren't exactly sociable.