A government vet has concluded that the famous swimming pigs died after they ingested sand. "Silly sailors" and tourists had been previously accused of feeding the pigs rum

8 March 2017

The Bahamas Government has announced that the deaths of the famous swimming pigs on Exuma were due to the animals ingesting sand.

The Bahamian Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, V. Alfred Gray said a report from the chief veterinary officer in his ministry had concluded that some of the pigs had “a good amount of sand” in their stomachs, and that this is what killed them.

Around half of the colony of pigs were found dead last month.

At the time, the Bahamas Humane Society had criticised so called “silly sailors” and tourists for feeding the animals alcohol.

Minister Gray added that in conjunction with the appropriate agencies, protocols would be put on place to protect the swimming pigs, which are a big draw for tourists.

1 March 2017

Around half of the famous colony of swimming pigs on Exuma in The Bahamas have been found dead, their bodies floating in the sea.

An investigation is now underway by the Bahamas Humane Society.

Its president, Kim Aranha told Nassau-based daily newspaper, Tribune 242, that it is unclear if the pigs were deliberately poisoned or killed accidentally.

But, she blasted the “silly sailors” who she claimed are known for trying to get the animals drunk.

“It could just be a horrible accident where they ate something poisonous. It could be malicious but I don’t really see why someone would go out of their way to hurt those lovely animals” she said.

“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” she stressed.

It is not clear how many of the pigs have died.

Aranha said she understood that there are “seven or eight pigs” now left on the island.

She added that samples were being collected to try and determine what caused their deaths.

One of the owners of the pigs, Wayde Nixon told The Nassau Guardian that at least 15 of the pigs were still alive.

Swimming pigs enjoying the warm waters of The Bahamas

Credit: cdorobek/Wikimedia Commons

He believes the pigs were fed the wrong food.

“We had the government vet in there [who] examined them all thoroughly. He gave them shots, he gave them medicine, and I was there and I worked with them for three days straight,” he said.

“We had them pigs there almost 30 years, and never has this happened before, but now we are going to have to regulate it” he continued.

“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 kinds of stuff” added Nixon.

Meanwhile, the Bahamas Government has announced it plans to ban the feeding of the swimming pigs.

The Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources. V. Alfred Gray, said: “If we have boundary lines, the people will be able to take photographs and see the pigs swim, all of that, but they will not be able to feed them things.”

The animals are one of the archipelago’s most famous tourist attractions, with tourists and locals alike visiting Exuma Cays to enjoy the warm water alongside the pigs.