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Pig Beach

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Big Major Cay
Nickname: Pig Beach
Vorobek Bahamas - swimming pigs.jpg
Pigs swimming in the Bahamas.
Big Major Cay is located in Bahamas
Big Major Cay
Big Major Cay
Geography
Location the Americas
Archipelago Exuma Cays
Total islands 1
Major islands 1
Administration
Capital city Nassau
Largest settlement Nassau (pop. 248,948; as of 2010)
Prime Minister Perry Christie

Pig Beach[1] (also known as Pig Island,[2] Major Cay,[3] and officially Big Major Cay[4]) is an uninhabited island (or cay) located in Exuma, the Bahamas. The island takes its unofficial name from the fact that it is populated by a colony of feral pigs that live on the island and in the surrounding shallows.

Geography and features

Exuma is a district of the Bahamas, and consists of over 360 islands.[5] Near Big Major Cay is Staniel Cay.[6] There are three freshwater springs on the island.[6]

Anecdotal history

The pigs are said to have been dropped off on Big Major Cay by a group of sailors who wanted to come back and cook them. The sailors, though, never returned; the pigs survived on excess food dumped from passing ships.[2][7] One other legend has it that the pigs were survivors of a shipwreck and managed to swim to shore, while another claims that the pigs had escaped from a nearby islet.[8] Others suggest that the pigs were part of a business scheme to attract tourists to the Bahamas. The pigs are now fed by locals and tourists[9] and the island is unofficially known as Pig Beach by the locals.[10]

Demographics and fauna

Big Major Cay is an uninhabited island.[11] The island is home to approximately 20 pigs and piglets.[8] A few stray cats[12] and goats[13] can be found on the island too.

Getting there

Staniel Cay is the closest island with an airport and local tour guides readily available to make the short trip. Great Exuma has the closest international airport (Exuma International Airport) with direct flights from Canada and the USA. Nassau is approximately 77 nautical miles away, a 2-hour boat trip or a 35-40 minute flight.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Ripley's Believe It or Not! Annual 2013. ISBN 978-1-60991-032-7. 
  2. ^ a b "Beach Babe: The happy pigs that love to swim in the Caribbean (and we're not telling porkies)". Daily Mail. January 25, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ The Bahamas - Guidebook Chapter: Chapter from Caribbean Islands travel guide book (6 ed.). Lonely Planet. 2012. ISBN 9781743210826. 
  4. ^ "Swimming with Pigs". The Island of the Bahamas. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Exuma". The Official Website of the Government of the Bahamas. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Susannah Cahalan (January 30, 2011). "Pig Kahuna is 'bacon' on own island". New York Post. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Lucky swines have own island". The Sun. January 24, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Greaves-Gabbadon, Sarah. "Best Bahamas Trips: Swim with Pigs in the Exumas". Caribbean Travel Magazine. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ Moorhouse, Austin E. (2004). Halcyon Days: From A Dream To Reality. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 9781412016650. 
  10. ^ "Pigs swim in sea in Bahamas". The Telegraph. July 16, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Swimming Pigs of Big Major Cay". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ Frommer's ShortCuts (2012). The Exumas, Bahamas: Frommer's ShortCuts (2 ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118470343. 
  13. ^ McRae, Mavis (May 23, 2012). "The Bahamas' Wild Pigs Meet Dr. Sylvia Earle And Mission Blue (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ http://www.harboursafaris.com/swimming-pigs-from-nassau/

Coordinates: 24°11′01″N 76°27′23″W / 24.18361°N 76.45639°W / 24.18361; -76.45639