It’s become a popular photo op for tourists who vacation at the luxurious Big Major Cay in the Bahamas — posing with the famous swimming pigs.
Just check Instagram. Last summer Donald Trump Jr. and his wife and kids met the pigs while on vacation. Actress Bella Thorne posed with the pigs last month.
Comedian Amy Schumer posted photos from Pig Beach over the weekend.
The pigs made a big splash last year when they were featured on an episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
Never miss a local story.
The pigs even have their own Instagram account, populated with photos of women in bikinis hugging on the porcine.
But the fun appears to be over. More than half a dozen of the pigs have mysteriously turned up dead in the last few days on the uninhabited island, according to the Nassau Guardian. That’s roughly one-third to half of the famous pig colony.
Authorities and the locals aren’t sure what’s happening, but a few theories have surfaced: The pigs ate something poisonous, or rowdy tourists are giving them human food and getting them drunk.
Investigators are collecting water samples to try to solve the mystery.
“It could just be a horrible accident where they ate something poisonous,” Kim Aranha, the president of the Bahamas Humane Society, told the Tribune 242 newspaper in the Bahamas.
“It could be malicious, but I don’t really see why someone would go out of their way to hurt those lovely animals.”
Aranha told the Tribune it’s unclear whether the deaths were accidental or the pigs were intentionally poisoned.
She knows there are a lot of “silly sailors that go and feed them alcohol to try and get them drunk, but that’s not to mistake them with the tour operators based out of Nassau who have treated them with excellent care,” she told the Tribune.
The animals live on Pig Beach, part of the deserted Big Major Cay in Exuma. With more than 365 islands — known as “cays” — the area of private homes and luxury resorts is a playground for the rich and famous, according to The Sun.
It’s unclear how the pigs got on the island. Local lore says they were left behind by a shipwreck long ago, according to the Daily Mail.
But Wayde Nixon of the Bahamas claims he let loose four sows and one boar on the island in the 1990s to create a sustainable food supply just in case the dreaded Y2K caused havoc.
Nixon blames rowdy tourists for the pigs’ death.
“We have people coming there giving the pigs beer, rum, riding on top of them, all kinds of stuff,” Nixon told the Guardian. “The pigs were given the wrong food.”
Nixon wants authorities to keep tourists away from the roughly 15 pigs he says are remaining. The government is pondering restrictions that would keep tourists away from the beach, one official told the Guardian.
“If we have boundary lines, the people will be able to take photographs and see the pigs swim, all of that,” said V. Alfred Grey, Bahamas minister of agriculture and marine resources. “But they will not be able to feed them things.”
The poor piggies received a burial at sea.