The Swimming Pigs of Major Cay

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Who knew? Not I, but it’s true. Hidden amongst the 700 islands that make up the Bahamas, in the tropical district of Exuma, you can find a small Island almost entirely populated by … swimming pigs.


The 20 plus pigs share the island of Big Major Cay with a few wild goats and a couple of stray cats. Happy as a pig in mud, these pigs are said to have been dropped on the island by sailors who planned to eat them on their return journey, but never returned, leaving the pigs to survive on food dumped from passing vessels and pushing them to swim further and further to collect scraps carried by passing currents.
So the Bahamas is not only a place for movie stars to make a splash, but those who have visited these amazing aquatic pigs, on what is rapidly becoming known as ‘Pig Island’ will know that these pigs are not in the least bit shy, an can often be somewhat aggressive in their eternal quest for food.


As Pig Island is uninhabited, well apart from the pigs, one must stay on the nearby Royal Plantation island of Fowl Cay and take a day tour to see the sights, but as the approach to Major Cay reaches the shoreline I recommend you use caution as the shallow wading style beaches will make it possible for our not-so-little piggy friends to kick off from the shallow spots, hook and leg over and climb into your boat, where they will happily amble around your possessions until they have eaten their lunch, your lunch and possibly your rucksack too.


If swimming pigs take your fancy, and you trust wild animals enough to get in for a dip, nobody will stop you and local tour guides will recommend it, but a short chat with the staff at a nearby clinic confirmed that although many leave Pig Island unscathed, there are some keeping the clinics afloat with aquatic pig related injuries.


In the surrounding rea you can find more than underwater farm animals, as the surrounding sandbars boast a variety of other attractions. A local colony of Iguanas hand out on Guana Cay, these ugly folk are well known for their love of fresh grapes. You can sail to the crystal clear waters of Thunderball Grotto, named after the 1965 James Bond Movie, Thunderball. Or simply relax on Stanial Cay, a spot not far from our swimming friends, where you can take a few moments to yourself knowing you are not surrounded by wild animals.


Pig Island, a long kept secret of the Bahamas locals, is quickly becoming a ‘Bucket List’ item for those in search of the bizarre, and the few boats that visit Big Major Cay each day have tripled, my advice to any who would hope to have this beautiful bizarre spot to themselves would be to wake up early, aim for the low season and don’t leave it too long.

Content Courtesy- www.traveleze.co.uk




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Travel Writer TraveleZe
Jack Van Toorn, International Travel Writer and Guide Editor, currently Island Hopping from Thailand to Micronesia.

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