This Is What Happened To Pablo Escobar's Colombia Estate

Few drug lords in history have became household names like Colombia's infamous Pablo Escobar, whose cocaine enterprise, the Medellín Cartel, wielded an estimated $30 billion at its height in the mid-1980s, making him one of the richest people on the planet, according to Biography

But for all his fame and money, Escobar was eventually killed by Colombian police in 1993, leaving behind a family, a vast drug enterprise, and his prized property, a home he called Hacienda Nápoles ("Naples Estate") in Puerto Triunfo, Colombia. The property spanned nearly 8 square miles, according to Medellín Guru, and is now a family-friendly tourist attraction. 

Escobar is said to have dedicated much of his energies into making the isolated plot of land in the wilderness his own private playground. According to The New Yorker, Escobar had roads paved, installed artificial lakes, and a private zoo with hippopotamuses, giraffes, zebras, and more. There was also a bull-fighting ring, swimming pools, stables, and a fleet of speedboats. By the time of his death, Brittanica reported that Escobar had collected around 200 animals for his private zoo, many of them native to Africa.

When Escobar was killed in 1993, Hacienda Nápoles was largely pilfered and abandoned, per The New Yorker, and most of the animals in Escobar's private zoo were moved to various zoos and sanctuaries, save four hippos, an invasive species, that have likely now bred more than 80 hippos that mostly live wild, per CNN.

Pablo Escobar's Estate is now a theme park for families

In 2007 the Hacienda Nápoles reopened as a theme park and zoo that incorporated the life-sized dinosaurs Escobar had on the property, per The Seattle Times. Ironically, the park had to import animals back to the property for the zoo, but they do boast one of the offspring of an original Escobar hippo, named Vanesa, who was rejected by her herd and supposedly answers to her name. Aww! 

The Medellín Guru reported that the park has continued to expand and re-opened in 2014 with a "Jurassic Park" theme that includes a water park. Today, Hacienda Nápoles is no longer just a playground for Escobar and his guests, but a public place that is good for the community. 

General Manager Oberdan Martinez told The National Desk via YouTube that they've been able to take something that was born of criminal enterprise and turn it into a "productive project" that generates employment and economic activity in the area. 

Martinez also said that the park is helping people see there is more to Colombia than Pablo Escobar and the drug trade. He said he wants the world to know Colombia  "... for many other good things that we have in our country."