Tourists blamed for death of swimming beach pigs in Bahamas

After half of the famed feral pig colony in the Bahamas dropped dead, rowdy tourists were blamed.

More than half a dozen of the famous swimming pigs were found dead at Big Major Cay in the Bahamas. Photo / Getty Images
More than half a dozen of the famous swimming pigs were found dead at Big Major Cay in the Bahamas. Photo / Getty Images

More than a half-dozen of the swimming pigs of The Bahamas, known for hobnobbing with vacationing celebrities and an appearance on The Bachelor, have been found dead under mysterious circumstances.

Investigators are probing the deaths of roughly seven hogs near 'Pig Beach' on Big Major Cay, an uninhabited island about 80 nautical miles from Nassau, the Daily Mail reports.

Reports of the deaths, which have wiped out an estimated one-third to half of the famed feral pig colony, surfaced over the past week.

Local legend dates the pig colony to a shipwreck long ago, but a local man claims he set them free in preparation for Y2K. Photo / Getty Images
Local legend dates the pig colony to a shipwreck long ago, but a local man claims he set them free in preparation for Y2K. Photo / Getty Images

"It could just be a horrible accident where they ate something poisonous,' Bahamas Humane Society President President Kim Aranha told Tribune 242 on Sunday. 'It could be malicious, but I don't really see why someone would go out of their way to hurt those lovely animals."

Local legend dates the pig colony to a shipwreck long ago, but the phenomenon may have more recent origins.

Bahamas man Wayde Nixon claims he set four sows and one boar loose on the island in the 1990s, amid fears that 'Y2K' computer issues would bring social collapse at the turn of the millennium.

The idea was to create a sustainable food supply to tap in the event of a catastrophe, he told the Today show.

As the pigs drop dead left and right, Nixon blames the bad behavior of rowdy tourists.

"We have people coming there giving the pigs beer, rum, riding on top of them, all kinds of stuff," he told the Nassau Guardian. "The pigs were given the wrong food."

The prestigious porkers have attracted a bevy of celebrity guests to their pristine island getaway in recent months.

Pig Beach at Staniel Cay in the Bahamas. Took the kids away for a fast weekend. Great family time. #pigbeach

A post shared by Donald Trump Jr. (@donaldjtrumpjr) on

In January, actress Bella Thorne shared vacation snaps from the island as she cuddled with a precious piglet in her bikini.

And last summer, Donald Trump Jr was spotted on vacation with wife and kids cavorting with the pigs.

Actress Amy Schumer was at the very scene of the crime in recent days, posting a picture from Pig Beach on Instagram Friday.

3 little piggies

A post shared by @amyschumer on

'I know there are a lot of silly sailors that go and feed them alcohol to try and get them drunk, but that's not to mistake them with the tour operators based out of Nassau who have treated them with excellent care,' said the Humane Society's Aranha.

Investigators have been dispatched to the cay to collect water samples and investigate the possible causes of the calamitous pig die-off.

"It's really a mystery as to what killed these beautiful animals," said Aranha.

Nixon estimated that roughly 15 pigs remain alive on the island.

He has called for a no-go zone to keep tourists away from the remaining pigs, which he co-owns.

Bahamas Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources V. Alfred Grey concurred, telling the Nassau Guardian that the government would pursue restrictions that would keep tourists back from the beach.

"If we have boundary lines, the people will be able to take photographs and see the pigs swim, all of that," he said.

"But they will not be able to feed them things."

The dead pigs have received burial in the sea they so loved, authorities said.

- Daily Mail

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