The Bay of Pigs

Welcome to the Isle of Pigs

Sun's out, snouts out.

Eighty-two miles southeast of Nassau, The Bahamas, nestled among the 365 islands of Exuma, is a land that's gone hog wild. Big Major Cay, known locally as "Pig Beach," is an uninhabited island boasting a colony of about 20 feral pigs and piglets, who swim the tropical waters and laze on the glistening sand.

How'd They Get There? Barcroft/Barcroft Media via Getty Images How'd They Get There? Legend has it the pigs were originally left on the island by European sailors — who may or may not have been planning to return at a later date to eat them. (More recently, a businessman named Wayde Nixon has taken credit for the porkers, claiming he dropped them off in the 1990s in the hopes of starting a farm.) Whatever the case may be, today it's much trendier to swim with the piggies. Bovine Business Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images Bovine Business Over the past decade or so, a cottage industry of tour companies and charter boats has sprung up, providing passage to Pig Beach. Some day packages also include swimming with sharks and feeding iguanas. Super Swine Barcroft/Barcroft Media via Getty Images Super Swine One sun-loving pig in particular, named Plato, became so popular that he starred in his own book, "The Secret of Pig Island," written by Jennifer R. Nolan and photographed by Jim R. Abernethy (who took the photo above). Oink If You're Hungry Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images Oink If You're Hungry The tourism influx has caused a few problems, though. The pigs, for the most part, no longer forage for food. Instead, they rely on scraps thrown from boats or handed out on the shore. In 2017, about half of the pig population died, and sand ingestion — from eating treats left on the beach — was to blame. Protecting the Porkers Barcroft/Barcroft Media via Getty Images Protecting the Porkers New regulations are reportedly in the works to safeguard the island's pigs and piglets — so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.