Travel with me #72 : Visiting Major Cay and taking a swim with the pigs! (photos + video)
Dear Steemit friends :
For me, travelling to Bahamas is as much about relaxing in places like Atlantis as it is about island hopping and visiting the unique wildlife on the many small islands of Bahamas.
In my previous post about Exuma, we had the opportunity to visit and feed the very rare and endangered Bahamian Rock Iguanas. Seeing these rather large reptiles in their natural environment and interacting with them was an incredible and unforgettable experience.
With feeding the Iguanas under the belt, I decided to visit perhaps the flagship 'attraction' of the Bahamas, which is now famously known as Swimming with the pigs.
Just two hours on a boat from Nassau takes us a little further along the strip of islands collectively known as Exuma Cays to this rather mysterious place called Major Cays - nowadays known as Pig Beach.
The island is an uninhabited cay which is populated by two dozen feral pigs which survive by foraging in the forest for food, and then come out to the beach for a swim to cool down.
The Mystery of the Pigs
It is unclear as to how the pigs ended up on this island and survived to this day, but the locals like to tell the story of how the pigs swam ashore from a pirate shipwreck and survived by eating food from dumped passing ships.
Two farmers, Wayde Nixon and Don Rolle claimed to have brought the pigs to this island in the 90's to start a pig farm for fear of the Y2K computer meltdown.
Either way, the pigs have become some what a legend to tourists and have brought a lot of interest to the Bahamas as well as an opportunity for visitors to interact closely with pigs swimming in the sea!
I was lucky to visit on a splendid day, usually the June to November period is considered Hurricane season and the pigs are taken to a shelter by a local water sports company.
The gorgeous blue sky is only rivalled by the glistening light blue waters of the sea. An absolutely stunning view.
As we approached the infamous beach, I could already see several of the larger pigs greeting other visitors. They were much larger than I expected. In the flyers I saw back at home, I thought the pigs would be cute little piglets.
The three biggest pigs are the ones with the spots on their backs. They are completely unafraid of visitors and will even swim out to greet you, snorting as they wait for you to feed them food.
Seeing pig's nearly twice the size of myself, I decided to down some beer before I go ahead and greet them closer up.
Feeding the pigs is a great way to get them to interact with you. It's important and respectful to feed them natural food, so avoid things like bread, cheese, hot dogs and beer.
Earlier this year, half a dozen pigs were found dead, initial reports cited tourists feeding the pigs Beer and Rum as the cause of death, but autopsy reports later showed that their stomachs were full of sand.
So, best stick to feeding them fruit and vegetables, and in the water!
Once in the water, I was quickly greeted by one of the pink ones. Although smaller than the huge spotted hogs, it was still pretty big!
Finally, my carrots caught the attention of one the little piglets which came rushing over to me expecting some treats.
I definitely get along better with the piglets, at least they're not bigger than me!
This piggy came straight over and had a whiff.
There are quite a number of different pigs here :
The big black spotted ones..
Plain pink ones..
In the end, I think the big spotted ones are probably the most assertive, they have no fear coming up really close to you expecting a good treat.
My tour guide told me to never have my back turned to one of the big ones, as they are known to have taken bites out of people's bums!
Best stick to the smaller ones for selfies with the pigs.
This piggy has quite interesting patterning on it's back.
Remember not to feed them by leaving food on the sand!
Of course, seeing pigs swim in the water is the main attraction, so it's best to lure them into the water with your food in hand, and make them work for a treat!
This is one of the smaller black spotted pigs.
It's hard to believe they grow up to be so big!
Can you see the little piggy getting a belly rub in the background?
Because the bigger pigs tend to 'hog' the water a bit more.
I realised I could get more interaction with the smaller ones by going into the shallower parts of the water.
This guy really likes to follow me around!
Time for some more selfies with the pigs.
Looking around, I really couldn't find any pigs small enough to hold.
With a dash of luck, I heard some a really loud oink from further down the beach and noticed one of the smallest ones being held by someone.
I decided to go over and see if the little piggy would let me hold it too!
Success! The little piggy was actually still pretty big, it was so heavy I could only hold it for a few seconds.
It was very well behaved though and seemed to enjoy the physical contact.
And just like that, I had my first ever experience interacting with pigs, and moreover pigs swimming in the sea!
I can now tick off Swimming with Pigs on my list of things to do before I die.
Hope you enjoyed my post, remember to up-vote if you liked it, follow me to keep updated with my activities, and leave a comment of what you think!
从很久很久以前,我就听说在这个宇宙上,有一个美丽的小岛可以和小猪一起快乐的游泳,这就是巴哈马加勒比海的猪岛。准确地说，我是从猪岛得知的巴哈马这个度假胜地。Pig Island又叫做Big Major Cay，正式名称叫作大沙洲，它位于中美洲巴哈马群岛。我这次选择从巴哈马首都拿骚坐船过去，途中还经过了很多明星和企业家的私人岛屿。下面是我和小猪们游泳的视频，希望大家喜欢哦。