When considering those who were most likely to be affected by Hurricane Matthew as it swept through the Caribbean last Wednesday, citizens of the Bahamas were at the top of the list. However, much of the islands’ wildlife was also in danger, including the swimming pigs, one of the most unique (and adorable) tourist attractions in the Bahamas. Fortunately, ABC News’ Terrell Forney has reported that none of the pigs were harmed during last week’s hurricane.
Around 30 pigs inhabit the so-called “Pig Beach,” also known as Big Major Cay, located near Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas. It’s unknown exactly how the pigs came to inhabit the island, but legend has it that they were either dropped off by a group of sailors – who planned to return to cook them but never did – or survivors of a shipwreck. Whatever the case, the non-native animals now spend their happy days eating, lolling in the sun, and of course, swimming in the beautiful blue waters surrounding the island.
On a normal day, 3-4 boats carrying tourists visit the island. Tourists are invited to disembark and feed the pigs, and there’s plenty of fun to be had by everyone involved. As a regular visitor to Great Exuma, I’ve fed the wild pigs several times, and it’s truly a unique and wonderful experience. The pigs have developed even more Internet fame since they were featured on an episode of The Bachelor earlier this year.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much caretakers could do to protect the pigs from the coming hurricane, other than provide them with extra food. The smaller pigs were placed in a protective shed on the island, while the larger pigs were left in their wild habitat to “fend for themselves,” another Forney report stated. Caretakers from Exuma Watersports knew the pigs had been through rough storms before, but were still relieved to find that though much of the sand on the island washed away as Matthew swept its course, the little community was still intact.
“All of the pigs survived the storm just fine,” Forney reported. “Not a single one was found to be injured or even missing.”
The pigs narrowly escaped a fate that thousands of Haitian citizens have suffered, as well as a continually worsening situation in Georgia, South and North Carolina. As the report mentioned, the pigs seemed relatively oblivious to what they had been through. Bahamian locals who suffered power outages and other property damage may at least find solace knowing that the resilient pigs are okay.