Swimming pigs: Bahamas
The Bahamas is the ‘Official Home of the Swimming Pigs’. Visitors to the islands are happily embracing the unique and special experience of swimming with the pigs on the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay, which is home to these special creatures and affectionately called “Pig Beach”. The swimming pigs join the vast selection of aquatic activities already popular with visitors to The Bahamas, from snorkelling with tropical fish and sea turtles to shark and eel sightings to scuba diving.
The family of pigs, dubbed ‘adorable’ by tourists, locals and media alike, have become incredibly popular. 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. 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. 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.
Visitors may book their visits to Big Major Cay for their opportunities to swim with the pigs through a variety of excursion vendors on The Islands.The Director General of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Joy Jibrilu, has concluded that, “As a destination that is world-renowned for welcoming visitors and providing them with the most beautiful beaches, lavish hotels and resorts, and fine dining, and for being a dream destination, the Islands of The Bahamas are very proud to be the Official Home of the Swimming Pigs. Providing visitors with the once-in-a-lifetime experience of interacting with these wonderful animals is just one more thing that distinguishes The Bahamas. We’ve already introduced thousands of visitors to ‘Pig Beach’, and we look forward to welcoming thousands more in the years to come. These animals are now as much a Bahamian experience as any other that visitors may discover while visiting The Bahamas.”