Just north of Staniel Cay in the Outer Exumas is Big Major Cay. On this small, uninhabited island, there’s a group of feral pigs. The pigs are regularly fed by those who go out to visit them, which is often those staying at Fowl Cay Resort, where boats are available and all the regulars direct visitors to the pigs because they never cease to amaze.
If you are offshore in a boat, the pigs will swim out to you. But beware: If you get too shallow (like, three feet of water or so), the pigs can — and probably will — jump into your boat and look for your lunch. But that’s only if they’re feeling especially friendly. The pigs control the island, roaming on their own terms, but they prefer to stay in the shade during the sunny hours, venturing onto the beach and into the waters when it cools down a bit. It’s unclear how the pigs got there, some believing they survived a shipwreck, others that sailors left them there for a future meal and never returned.
One travel writer, who calls herself the Wander Woman, described her interaction with the swimming pigs: “During our visit last summer, we took our dingy over after eating lunch on Staniel Cay. After we circled for a few minutes, two large spotted pigs waddled down the beach towards us and our gift of potatoes. The huge animals (easily as large as a Shetland pony) were friendly and not shy. At all. In fact, one even put it’s hoof up onto our boat, anxious for food. When were out of potatoes, they rambled back towards the shore and under the palm trees to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in the shade […] or until more boats and visitors arrived.”
Know Before You Go
From Nassau, take plane to Staniel Cay. Rent a boat from the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and go north about a mile.
- The Island of the Bahamas: Swimming With Pigs: http://www.bahamas.co.uk/things-to-do/bahamas-water-activities/swimming-with-pigs
- The Wander Woman: The Swimming Pigs of Major Cay: http://thewanderwoman.com/?p=358