VIDEO: Beach boar - Soundings Online

VIDEO: Beach boar

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Like most animals, wild boars can swim, but who would have expected one of them to visit a crowded beach?

Boars are large, strong, grumpy and have teeth the size of daggers. They’re the stuff of nightmares.

Conversely, the swimming pigs of the uninhabited island of Big Major Cay in the Bahamas have a reputation for being very friendly. Although they are feral and live freely on what is known as Pig Beach, they sunbathe for hours and take a dip in the sea to cool off.

They also seek shelter from the heat in the shade of almond trees and run to greet visitors, from whom they’ve learned to expect treats.

The popularity of the swimming pigs inspired the children’s book The Secret of Pig’s Island by Jennifer R. Nolan, and a song by children’s author Sandra Boynton.

No one knows how the pigs arrived on the island, but some folks speculate that sailors dropped them ashore until they could return to eat them. Other Bahamians think they swam ashore after a ship sank.

However they came to be on Big Major Cay, about 20 pigs and piglets survive easily, partly because the island is blessed with three freshwater springs and partly because of the generosity of visiting Bahamians and tourists.

To see and learn about the swimming pigs, visit http://www.bahamas.com/swimmingpigs.