The world’s most powerful kingpins, from Escobar to El Chapo, owned exotic animals as a symbol of status. Were these “pets” the ultimate bling or a death wish? You be the judge.
Hungry Horny Hippos
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Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar started his private zoo with hippos, three female and one male. After the confiscation of his Hacienda Napoles in the early 90s the hippos were left in a swampy lake where they multiplied to more than 60 and started roaming as far as 155 miles terrifying fishermen, destroying crops and killing young cattle.
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Lions and tigers were Heriberto Lazcano, Zetas drug gang leader, animals of choice. While most lions eat an average of 95 lbs a day, Lazcano over-satiated their appetites by hurling his victims’ bodies into pits built specially for these carnivores. Most the victims were alive. His felines now get served their meals at the county zoo in Mexico.
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El Chapo Guzmán of the Sinaloa Cartel was a fan of kitties – the kind that roar. Panthers, lions and tigers were found in his mansion after he was captured in Feb. 2014. His pride and joy was his white, stripe-less tiger. For every 10,000 tigers that are born, there is only one that doesn’t carry red and yellow pigments. If that’s not intimidating enough, these tigers grow up to 500 pounds by the time they’re 3.
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Although cute squirrel monkeys don’t look as intimidating as 500-pound tigers, they’re still not ideal pets. They bite. They scratch. And, no matter how hard you try, they are never entirely potty trained. If you think your dog humping your friend’s leg is embarrassing, try having a monkey masturbating in front of them. All the time. When Jesus “The King” Zambada of the Sinaola cartel was incarcerated in 2008, his three (horny) pet monkeys were also thrown in cages until authorities figured what to do with them.
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Zambada clearly had a thing for annoying pets and irritating his neighbors. Peacocks represent royalty, but there is nothing royal about their screeching and pooping everywhere. Their constant shrieks can be heard half a mile away. Zambada’s neighbors no longer have to wake up to the hollering peacocks. They now live in the Zacango Zoo in Toluca, Mexico.
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Snakes aren’t uncommon in kingpins’ homes. They often double as mules. Drug lords like Pablo Escobar and Heriberto Lazcano fed them cocaine-filled condoms to help them complete their deals.