Though the investigation is not complete, officials suspect that the swimming pigs died as a result of being fed alcohol by tourists.
Nearly everyone has been captivated by circulating videos on social media that shows tourists frolicking in the Bahamas with friendly and adorable pics. Called the Bahamas swimming pigs, they live on the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay and are more than willing to join in on tourists’ vacation fun.
Last week, however, several of the beloved swimming pigs were found dead, forcing locals and government officials to launch an official investigation to discern the cause of their deaths. According to pig owner Wayde Nixon, the pigs likely died as a result of tourists feeding them the wrong foods – specifically, alcohol. Nixon told The Nassau Guardian:
“We have people coming there giving the pigs beer, rum, riding on top of them, all kinds of stuff. The pigs were given the wrong food.”
Kim Aranha, President of the Bahamas Humane Society (BHS), confirmed the same in an interview with As It Happens guest host Helen Mann. She stated
“[…] the Humane Society has received countless reports over the years about tourists feeding these animals the wrong kind of food and trying to get them drunk is not news. I’ve heard that frequently.”
When speaking with local news Tribune 242, however, she suggested that the pigs’ deaths could also be a result of an accident.
“It could just be a horrible accident where they ate something poisonous. 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,” stated Aranha.
To identify the cause of the pigs’ deaths, investigators have examined the bay and collected water samples. They are presently waiting on the lab results. According to the BHS, only about 15 swimming pigs remain on the island. Hopefully, a similar travesty can be prevented in the future.
If alcohol is to blame for the animals’ untimely deaths, this is, once again, an example of ignorant humans causing harm to wildlife. In numerous instances, tourists have hurt and even killed animals for the sake of capturing selfies with them or to just “have a good time.”
To prevent similar from taking place in the future, the owners of the pigs are working with the government to implement some kind of regulation in the bay. Suggestions include setting up boundary lines where tourists are able to see and photograph the pigs, but not feed or interact with them.
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