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Remember Pablo Escobar's Hippos?

Remember Pablo Escobar's Hippos?

Remember the story of Pablo Escobar’s hippos running wild in Colombia a few weeks ago?

Although the late King of Cocaine’s half-wild hippos may be damaging farms and the environment in this southern region, it seems some locals are growing fond of them.

Officials have warned people living near the Hacienda Nápoles park to avoid the animals, saying their endearing appearance belies an aggressive nature. But this hasn't stopped people from trying to look after them — and even taking them into their homes.

James Torres, a resident of Puerto Triunfo, said he recently cared for an abandoned calf for over a week, but had trouble buying milk for it, El Espectador reported.

The paper didn't explain how Torres, a peasant, could know what type of milk to give the calf — an African species not found in Colombian jungles. He added that the calf’s mother had probably abandoned it to avoid it being killed by a herd’s dominant male.

The above photo shows a baby hippo dozing alongside a girl doing her homework. It’s not clear exactly where the home is, but El Espectador quoted residents who were clearly ignoring official warnings about the potentially dangerous animals, and had taken a liking to them, caring for and possibly breeding them.

Photo: El Espectador

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Palestinian Olive Trees Are Also Under Israeli Occupation — And That's Not A Joke

In the West Bank, a quieter form of oppression has been plaguing Palestinians for a long time. Their olive groves are surrounded by soldiers, and it's forbidden to harvest the olives – this economic and social violence has gotten far worse since Oct. 7.

A Palestinian woman holds olives in her hands

In a file photo, Um Ahmed, 74, collects olives in the village of Sarra on the southwest of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Mohammed Turabi/ZUMA
Francesca Mannocchi

HEBRON – It was after Friday prayers on October 13th of last year, and Zakaria al-Arda was walking along the road that crosses his property's hillside to return home – but he never made it.

A settler from Havat Ma'on — an outpost bordering Al-Tuwani that the United Nations International Law and Israeli law considers illegal — descended from the hill with his rifle in hand.

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After kicking al-Arda, who tried to defend himself, the settler shot him in the abdomen. The bullet pierced through his stomach, a few centimeters below the lungs. Since then, al-Arda has been in the hospital in intensive care. A video of those moments clearly shows that neither al-Arda nor the other worshippers leaving the mosque were carrying any weapons.

The victim's cousin, Hafez Hureini, still lives in the town of Al-Tuwani. He is a farmer, and their house on the slope of the town is surrounded by olive trees — and Israeli soldiers. On the pine tree at the edge of his property, settlers have planted an Israeli flag. Today, Hafez lives, like everyone else, as an occupied individual.

He cannot work in his greenhouse, cannot sow his fields, and cannot harvest the olives from his precious olive trees.

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