These pigs might not fly, but they certainly do swim.
The swimming pigs that live on Big Major Cay island in The Bahamas have been delighting tourists and locals for the past few years. The pink and brown porkies could often be seen paddling happily in the crystal blue waters or foraging for food in the forest.
But recently seven pigs from the famous colony have mysteriously died. Ben Guarino at The Washington Post reports that their bodies were found floating in the sea without any apparent injuries.
Humane Society inspector Ventoi Bethune investigated their mysterious deaths and explained to the National Geographic that their deaths were likely caused by fatal doses of alcohol and large quantities of sand.
As tourists flocked to the beaches to interact with the pigs, the animals have changed their foraging habits. Rather than searching for food in the forests, they’re relying more on the scraps that humans throw for them on the beach.
As they eat the food, they’re likely swallowing sand. Bethune also suggests that climate change could play a role. The recent dry spell in January might have contributed to their natural source of water drying up.
“We found their natural source of water had dried up, so there wasn’t much fresh water on their island to drink,” Bethune says. “We believe it’s a combination of factors that lead to the death of the pigs.”
So, next time you visit the islands, look for the swimming porkers, but please: don’t feed the pigs!