Hacienda Nápoles

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Coordinates: 5°55′33.60″N 74°43′18.57″W / 5.9260000°N 74.7218250°W / 5.9260000; -74.7218250

Hacienda Nápoles (Spanish for "Naples Estate") was the luxurious estate built and owned by Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in Puerto Triunfo, Antioquia Department, Colombia, approximately 100 km (62 mi) east of Medellín and 150 km (93 mi) northwest of Bogotá. The estate covers about 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi) of land. Following Escobar's death in 1993, many of the original buildings on the property were demolished or reconditioned for other uses.

History[edit]

Main entrance
Hacienda Nápoles private bullring

The estate included a Spanish colonial house, a sculpture park, and a complete zoo that included many kinds of animals from different continents such as antelope, elephants, exotic birds, giraffes, hippopotamuses, ostriches, and ponies. The ranch also boasted a large collection of old and luxury cars and bikes, a private airport, a bullring, and even a kart-racing track. Mounted atop the hacienda's entrance gate is a replica of the Piper PA-18 Super Cub airplane (tail number HK-617-P) which transported Escobar's first shipment of cocaine to the United States.[1]

After Escobar was shot and killed by Colombian police in 1993, his family entered a legal struggle with the Colombian government over the property. The government prevailed, and the neglected property is now managed by the Municipality of Puerto Triunfo. The cost of maintenance for the zoo and the animals was too expensive for the government, so it was decided that most of the animals would be donated to Colombian and international zoos.

Other original features include dinosaur statues[2] built with bones[citation needed] in a section of the estate, along with prehistoric animal statues (such as the mammoth) that children can climb and play on,[citation needed] as well as decommissioned military vehicles and a giant hand sculpture.[3]

Recent years[edit]

In September 2006 there was a rumor about building an anti-crime museum about Pablo Escobar, a jail, and a theme park. The jail is currently under construction, and the dinosaur park has been restored.[citation needed]

By November 2006 ownership of the property had passed to the Colombian government and was valued at 5 billion Colombian pesos (approximately $2.23 million).[4] The hacienda's zoo still[when?] hosts bison, a rare goat, one ostrich, and zebras. Escobar's hippopotamuses have escaped and become feral, living in at least four lakes in the area and spreading into neighbouring rivers. Contact between the hippos and local fishermen have led to calls for the hippo population to be culled. By 2011, there were at least 30 animals roaming wild in the countryside; the large number of hippos makes it difficult to find zoos into which they can be resettled.[5] There are also reportedly 40 hippopotamuses living on the grounds of the hacienda itself;[6] as of June 2014, the park's mascot, a live female hippo named Vanessa (who responds to her name), remains at the site.[7]

In 2014, a "Jurassic Park"-style African theme park was operating on the grounds, which have been rented by a private company. "Parque Temático Hacienda Nápoles" comes complete with a water park, a guided safari attraction, aquariums, and a replica of the caves in Colombia's Cueva de los Guácharos National Park.[8] In April 2014 a day ticket to the park cost 32,000 pesos (around $15).[9] The Escobar museum, his burned private car collection, and the abandoned "ruins" of his house are still publicly accessible.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arbuckle, Alex Q. (August 29, 1989). "Hacienda Nápoles: What do you buy the drug lord who has everything? A zoo". 
  2. ^ Arbuckle, Alex Q. (August 29, 1989). "Hacienda Nápoles: What do you buy the drug lord who has everything? A zoo". 
  3. ^ Arbuckle, Alex Q. (August 29, 1989). "Hacienda Nápoles: What do you buy the drug lord who has everything? A zoo". 
  4. ^ "LA HACIENDA NAPOLES AHORA ES PROPIEDAD DEL ESTADO COLOMBIANO". Presidencia.gov.co (in Spanish). September 2009. Archived from the original on August 20, 2004. 
  5. ^ Kremer, William (June 26, 2014). "Pablo Escobar's hippos: A growing problem". BBC News Magazine. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ Kevin EG Perry (April 7, 2014). "Drug Traffickers Build the Best Theme Parks". 
  7. ^ Kremer, William (June 26, 2014). "Pablo Escobar's hippos: A growing problem". BBC News Magazine. 
  8. ^ "Diversion acuatica". Parque Tematico Hacienda Napoles. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Kevin EG Perry (April 7, 2014). "Drug Traffickers Build the Best Theme Parks". 

External links[edit]