Swimming Pigs Rule Small Bahamas Island

Pigs haven’t exactly evolved for an aquatic lifestyle, but apparently that doesn’t stop the pigs from Big Major Cay, aka Pig Beach or Pig Island, part of the Exuma Cays archipelago in the Bahamas. The island is uninhabited when it comes to humans, but wild pigs have taken over, and over time they became good swimmers.

credit: Flickr

According to Wikipedia, there are about 20 swimming pigs on the island, which they share with a few stray cats and goats (though there’s no word on how good the cats and goats are at swimming…).

credit: Flickr

There are many legends and theories surrounding the swimming pigs: “[They're said] to have been dropped off on Big Major Cay by a group of sailors…The sailors, though, never returned; the pigs survived on excess food dumped from passing ships. One other legend has it that the pigs were survivors of a shipwreck and managed to swim to shore, while another claims that the pigs had escaped from a nearby islet.”

credit: Flickr


Eric Cheng, a photographer who went to the island, had this to say: “Because locals bring food, the pigs will run into the water and actually swim out to the oncoming boats, as if to greet them individually. It is strange enough to see pigs laying around on tropical beaches of white sand, but to see them then charge into the water to greet oncoming boats is just bizarre.”

credit: Pig Island book website

There was actually a children’s book written based on this. It’s calledThe Secret of Pig Island and was written by Jennifer R. Nolan and contains photos by Jim Abernethy.

credit: Flickr

Here’s one last fine specimen of a swimming pig…



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Anna Undebeck
Anna Undebeck4 years ago

Love them :)

Aaron W.
Aaron W4 years ago

The swimming pigs are amazing! Thanks Kara for sharing some old folk stories to go along with the beautiful pictures too! Great job!

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Tanya W.
Tanya W4 years ago

Oh that is priceless...thank you Kara.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

better in the water, than on the plate (go vegan)

Ottis S.
Ottis S.4 years ago

Wonderful - not every day you get to read some nice news. VERY nice for a change - thank you!

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra4 years ago

Thank you Kara, for Sharing this!

Alexandra Gundelfingen
Alexandra G4 years ago

They look very happy

Loretta P.
Loretta P4 years ago

They're sooooo cute. What an interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

Beth Wilkerson
Beth Wilkerson4 years ago

I have a friend who actually had an encounter with these swimming pigs.