There is a beach on the Bahaman Islands of Exuma where a colony of wild pigs like to swim with tourists.
These pigs are called the "swimming pigs of Exuma" and they have become a tourist attraction for people visiting the Bahamas. Last week, a half dozen of these beloved pigs were found dead, washed up on the shore. The cause of death is still being investigated, according to officials at the Bahamas Humane Society (BHS).
— JAKOB OWENS (@JakobOwens) February 16, 2017
It is not clear if the pig deaths were intentional or an accident but many have been quick to blame tourists feeding the pigs different foods and alcohol.
Water samples have been taken and are being tested for bacteria but not all the pigs in the colony were found dead.
"I understand there are seven or eight pigs still alive," BHS President Kim Aranha said. "It's still unclear on the number of animals that are dead. I'd say it's more than seven but certainly not the 15 as initially reported on social media. The veterinarians are bringing the samples back but I can't say how long it will take to get the results."
"It's really a mystery as to what killed these beautiful animals. I believe most of the carcasses were in the ocean and we (BHS) did act as quickly as we can. I think everyone who is an animal lover is concerned and if not, for our economy, can you imagine what impact this could have?" she stressed.
The swimming pigs of Exuma have become a world-wide attraction, attracting hundreds of tourists daily. There are theories that the pigs got to the island due to a colonial shipwreck carrying livestock. Although, a man named Wayde Nixon has claimed that he started the colony 30 years ago in hopes of starting a farm.
Nixon has taken care of the pigs and he has blamed the pigs' death on food given to them by tourists. He told The Nassau Guardian:
"The pigs were given the wrong food. Right now, it's blowing out of proportion with people, anybody bringing food there, anybody doing what they [want to] do. We have people coming there giving the pigs beer, rum, riding on top of them ? all kind of stuff."
The cause of death has yet to be released but officials are asking tourists to not feed the swimming pigs.
The pigs who died were from the colony on Big Major Spot, which the colony on White Bay Cay were quick to point out. There are multiple locations in the Exuma Islands where swimming pigs can be found.
Hi everybody, we have been getting a lot of enquiries regarding the death of some of the swimming pigs. We want to clarify that this very sad and unfortunate incident did not happen on the island featured on this Instagram. There are 2 locations for the Swimming Pigs. The affected pigs lived on a different island from us, called Big Major Spot, which is 60 miles away from where our pigs live. We’re located on a tiny little island named White Bay Cay, which is near the island of Great Exuma. This Instagram covers the famous Swimming Pigs that have been featured on The Bachelor, HGTV, Access Hollywood, ABC News, etc. and our guests that meet them while out with us on our tours. Apparently, the pigs at Big Major’s Spot may have been given either liquor or spoiled food resulting in seven pigs inadvertently getting poisoned from this. The lesson that should be learned from this heart-breaking incident is that it is not funny to try and get the pigs, or any animal, intoxicated and please do not give them rotten or moldy food. We appreciate all your thoughts and wishes and wanted to let you know that Pickles, Panda, Squealy, and the gang here at White Bay Cay are all fine and healthy!
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