Bahamas' Swimming Pigs Dying, Likely Due to Tourists

Some think the friendly animals are being fed snacks and booze
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2017 8:53 AM CST
Updated Mar 4, 2017 1:54 PM CST
Famed Swimming Pigs Are Dropping Off Like Flies
Four pigs not from Pig Beach swim across a trough of water in McDonough Ga.   (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

The Washington Post calls the untimely demise of some of the famous swimming pigs of the Bahamas—the friendly feral animals who live on the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay, aka "Pig Beach"—a "mysterious wave of death." But some say that the reason may not be so mysterious after all, and that tourists who come to swim with the pigs are to blame, the Telegraph reports. Wayde Nixon, a local who claims to have started the pig colony decades ago, tells the Nassau Guardian that the deceased pigs "were given the wrong food" and that visitors to the island are basically going hog-wild with the animals, including jumping on them for rides and plying them with snacks, beer, and rum. Alfred Gray, the Bahamas' minister of agriculture and marine resources, says seven pigs have perished so far, leaving another 15 or so on the island, per Nixon's count.

Officials from the Bahamas Humane Society, however, tell Tribune 242 they're not sure how many pigs have actually died (they think there are only around seven or eight left alive), or if their deaths were intentional or inadvertent—only that their carcasses were dumped into the sea after they were found. The animals are a much-frequented attraction, even bringing in the likes of Amy Schumer and Donald Trump Jr. Gray tells the Guardian that from now on, visitors won't be able to feed the pigs (they'll be roped off for pictures only), while Nixon notes he, his partner, and their families will continue to work with the government to "regulate" access to the pig colony. (Texas wants to get apocalyptic on its feral pig population.)

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