(PIGS/WILDLIFE/CUTE ANIMAL PICTURES) A small island in the Caribbean boasts an unusual and talented group of animals—swimming swine! Approximately 20 pigs as well as a few goats and cats live on the island in the Bahamas, which is uninhabited by humans.
The pigs living on Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Island or Pig Beach, swim out to get a snack and greet the nearby boaters or visitors to the island.
Stories of how the pigs got to the island include being dropped off by sailors who never returned, swimming there themselves from neighboring islands or a nearby shipwreck, or being brought there by people as a tourist attraction. Another tale says they were left there by a powerful family in case of the possibility that the Bahamas would be no longer able to import goods from neighboring islands.
These pigs are certainly a sight to be seen, with tourists from all over the world stopping by the island to see the adorable and friendly pigs for themselves.
“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,” says photographer Eric Cheng.
Some people are concerned because the pigs are not native to the island, fearing they may wreak havoc on the island’s ecosystem, as feral pigs have caused such problems on other islands. If a particular species does not have a predator to keep the population under control, their increasing population will use more resources and there may be detrimental effects on the fitness of other organisms in the ecosystem. It is unclear how long the pigs have populated this island or what effects they have had on the habitat.
Jennifer R. Nolan wrote a children’s book, published in 2010, about the island. The book is about a boy who, upon hearing about the island with swimming pigs, decides to venture out in his own to meet them.
Check out the gallery of these adorable piggy paddlers below!
— Danielle Hanna, exclusive to Global Animal