The Pig Island, where pigs swim in freedom

The Pig Island, where pigs swim in freedom

In the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay, live a family of pigs freely on the sandy beaches, and after basking in the sun for hours, they swim in the surf. These adorable hogs have become a popular tourist attraction in the Bahamas.

It is unknown how the pigs originally arrived to 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. Another theory is that there was a nearby shipwreck and the pigs swam to safety.

Whatever the origin of the pigs, there are now approximately 20 pigs and piglets surviving easily on Big Major Cay, partly because the island has three freshwater springs, and partly due to the generosity of visiting Bahamians and tourists.

The pigs are really 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 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 Director General of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Joy Jibrilu, has stated that "The Islands of The Bahamas are very proud to be the Official Home of the Swimming Pigs". He added:

"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.”

The 'Pig Beach' attracts thousands of tourists each year. This growing popularity is what inspired the short film ‘When Pigs Swim', directed by Charlie Smith and produced by GIV Bahamas Inc., a documentary that chronicles the origin and rise of The Swimming Pigs. You can watch the video in the player below.

Watch the swimming hogs pictures in the gallery below! They were taken by photographers Jean-Louis Klein and Marie-Luce Hubert, who travelled from their home in France, to the islands of Nassau in the Bahamas.

Published on: March 2016
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