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Mystery as Bahamas’ famous swimming pigs are found dead

The uninhabited island of Big Major Cay, Bahamas is home to the famous swimming pigs. “Pig Beach” is frequently visited by tourists. Visitors are greeted by these adorable and friendly swimmers. People just can’t help but socialize and swim right along with these Island pigs.

They live freely on the sandy beaches, and after basking in the sun for hours, they swim in the surf. The pigs, though feral, are exceptionally friendly, running from under the shade of the almond trees to greet visitors that bring them treats. They are also fed by the crews of passing yachts and vessels. Who in their right mind would ever intentionally hurt these gentle pigs?

It is unknown how the pigs originally came to live on Big Major Cay, as they aren’t native and the island itself is  uinhabitated.

Popular lore suggests that the pigs were dropped off by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them, or that there was a nearby shipwreck and the pigs swam to safety. However it was that they came to be, there are now approximately 20 pigs and piglets surviving easily on Big Major Cay, partly because the island is blessed with three freshwater springs, and partly due to the generosity of visiting Bahamians and tourists.

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More than a half-dozen of the swimming pigs of The Bahamas, known for hobnobbing with vacationing celebrities and an appearance on ‘The Bachelor,’ have been found dead under mysterious circumstances.
Investigators are probing the deaths of roughly seven hogs near ‘Pig Beach’ on Big Major Cay, an uninhabited island about 80 nautical miles from Nassau.
Reports of the deaths, which have wiped out an estimated one-third to half of the famed feral pig colony, surfaced over the past week.
‘It could just be a horrible accident where they ate something poisonous,’ Bahamas Humane Society President Kim Aranha told Tribune 242 on Sunday. ‘It could be malicious, but I don’t really see why someone would go out of their way to hurt those lovely animals.’

Local legend dates the pig colony to a shipwreck long ago, but the phenomenon may have more recent origins.
Bahamas man Wayde Nixon claims he set four sows and one boar loose on the island in the 1990s, amid fears that ‘Y2K’ computer issues would bring social collapse at the turn of the millennium.
The idea was to create a sustainable food supply to tap in the event of a catastrophe, he told the Today show.
As the pigs drop dead left and right, Nixon blames the bad behavior of rowdy tourists.

The swimming pigs are truly a sight to behold and have become so popular that they have inspired a children’s book, “The Secret of Pig’s Island,” by Jennifer R. Nolan, and a song by children’s author Sandra Boynton.

 

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Diana Joy

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