You’ve heard of the term, “I’ll believe it when pigs fly.”
But would you also believe it when pigs swim? If so, you might be surprised if you pay a little visit to the gorgeous islands in the Bahamas that are known for their crystal clear waters…and pigs that swim in them.
That’s right. Not only are there “swimming pigs,” but these pigs have become so popular that they even have their own hashtag on social media, #swimmingpigs. But it’s obvious that these lovable piggies aren’t indigenous to remote Bahamas Islands, so many people wonder how in the heck they even got there in the first place.
I was one of those travelers, so I decided to take a trip to the Bahamas to see these swimming pigs for myself, and figure out where they came from. Here’s everything you need to know:
Where are the swimming pigs?
There’s a small, un-inhabited island in the Exumas near Staniel Cay that is dubbed “Pig Island” or “Pig Beach” where the original swimming pigs are located. To get to the beach you would have to take a boat from one of the nearby main islands.
There is also a small un-inhabited island in Abacos that has a few pigs, but it’s nothing like the ones in Exuma.
Where do they come from?
Legends say that sailors dropped the pigs off with the intention to return later to eat them, but never made it back so the pigs survived and thrived off of the land. Another legend says there was a shipwreck and the pigs survived and swam ashore. A more realistic theory is that locals brought them there as part of a marketing scheme for tourists, which, if that’s true, was a genius idea.
Do they really swim?
Yes, and they are quite good at it too! They know the boats that come up mean there is food to be given, so they will swim right up to your boat and even jump up on their hind legs like a dog! The pigs in Abacos aren’t keen on swimming yet, since most of them are still babies and a bit skiddish.
Are they friendly?
If by “friendly” you mean “will they let you feed them,” then the answer is yes. But don’t go trying to play with one of the 300 pound hogs. Although they appreciate your food contributions, if you try to taunt or tease them, there’s a good chance they’ll bite you or charge after you like a bull.
What can you feed them?
As with normal pigs, these ones will pretty much eat anything you give them. BUT, since there are only a few of them, and a lot of visitors, they have started to become a bit picky with their selections due to tasty leftovers! You can usually just give them some bread or crackers, but for a real treat, bring them some juicy fruits!