The island of Big Major Cay is in the central part of the Bahamas and it is well known for its cheerful wild swimming pigs. You will get to see as the calm beasts swim every day in the crystal clear waters as they show off their piggy paddle to the numerous tourists who come to the beach to see these wild creatures.
Theories on How Pigs Got To The Island
There are many theories about how pigs got to this beach. One of the theory is that the pigs were dropped by a group of sailors that is going to return for the pigs to eat. However, the sailors did not come back for the pigs which lived on. There is another theory that the pigs survive a shipwreck and they managed to swim to shore and some people think that the pigs were there to attract visitors. Another theory is that a man from Staniel Cay claims that he and his business partner brought the first pigs in the late 1990s in hopes to start up a pig farm. He spoke on Today show that he was preparing for a sustainable food supply because of the feared Y2K computer meltdown. Yet another theory is that the swimming pigs originally lived in Staniel Cay, but because the island is so small ( only about two miles) the smell of the pig pen was soo strong that the locals put them on an uninhabited island to take only when ready to eat.
The pigs have survived partly because of all the tasty food that the tourists bring and the three freshwater springs. The major popular tourist attraction now in the Bahamas is swimming with the pigs and it is even categorized as an aquatic activity with snorkeling with sea turtles and tropical fish. The pigs here are very friendly and they even run out to greet visitors.
What other animals can you meet?
Pigs are not only the animals that you can up close in the Exuma Cays as there are other animals found here. At Compass Cay, you will get to swim with nurse sharks if you have the heart for it and at Bitter Guana Cay homes the endangered Exuma Island iguanas and you will think there are plenty when they come running towards you across the sand.
At Cocoplum Beach you will get to see its well-known sand dollars which you can easily spot on its sandbars at low tide. You can also swim and feed sea turtles at Little Farmer’s cay. You can also snorkel with different species of fish at some of the world class spots like the Aquarium, and Thunderball Grotto.
When is the best time to visit them?
Tours in this island are always between 9 AM and sunset. If you are taking your own boat, you should try to go early in the morning so as to get the most uninterrupted attention from the pigs. You can also find them tuckered out with full bellies in the late afternoon and you will more likely to find them lounging in the sand than for them to paddle through the water with you.
You can come to this island any time of the year but it is not advisable to come here from June to November as it is considered as hurricane season. The pigs are also usually taken to shelter by a local watersports company.