by Des Ryan
Pigs are known to be very smart, but are most frequently pictured in mud and thought of as unclean. Not these pigs! They are rumored to have been left by sailors of a bygone era who wanted to return to cook them, but now they are great entertainment for visiting sailors cruising the Bahamas.
Today sailors come in droves to swim with the pigs - photo by Blogging Aboard Black Diamond, www.sailboatcruise.ca copyright (c) 2013
With great swimming ability, these very clean sandy pigs swim out to meet each boat that arrives in Big Major Cay Island on the Bahamian archipelago of Exuma, otherwise known as 'Pig Beach'.
At least 20 pigs are thriving and are frequently fed not only by visiting sailors, but also by locals and tourists. Mother pigs can be seen being trailed by almost another 20 pigs.
The animals were first discovered in 2007 by photographer Eric Cheng and captain Jim Abernathy. Cheng says of the pigs: 'Because visitors often bring food, the pigs will run into the water and actually swim out to the oncoming boats, as if to greet them individually.
'It is strange enough to see pigs laying around on tropical beaches of white sand, but to see them then charge into the water to greet oncoming boats is just bizarre.'
If you are ever close enough and interested in sailing into the area, you can inquire at Staniel Cay nearby.