By Alex Haithwaite
TOURISTS to the Bahamas will be banned from feeding the famous swimming pigs on the islands after more than seven of the creatures were found dead.
It was initially feared the deaths of at least seven of the feral animals on Big Major Cay, one of the islands, were caused by tourists giving them beer and rum.
However it is now believed that the pigs could have consumed large amounts of indigestible sand, according to the Bahamas Humane Society.
BHS inspector Ventoi Bethune said: “The pigs have been on the island so long, they are used to foraging for natural food.
“However, they have been getting a lot of international attention recently, so now the pigs stay on the beach and aren’t living in the forest.
“We also found their natural source of water had dried up, so there wasn’t much fresh water on their island to drink.
“We believe it’s a combination of factors that led to the death of the pigs.”
The pigs are a popular tourist attraction and visitors can pay for a day trip to see them on a boat tour through the Exuma Cays islands in the Caribbean.
The trip has attracted various celebrities – in the past year comedian Amy Schumer, actress Bella Thorne and the US president’s son Donald Trump Jr have also shared their trip on social media.
There are now plans from the government to ban the feeding of pigs by tourists to reduce the risk of scraps being thrown, or left, on the sandy beaches.
National Pig Day – celebrating porkers around the world
The celebration was first established in 1972 by a pair of sisters, one from Texas, one from North Carolina.
The celebration of Pig Day happens all over the world, but is most commonly celebrated in the American Midwest.
“Pig parties” are thrown, where pink pig punch and pork delicacies are served, and pink ribbon pigtails are tied around trees.
The pork industry contributes $1.9 billion to the economy in the state of Illinois.
In New York City’s Central Park Zoo, National Pig Day sees an invasion of pot-bellied pigs into the zoo.
The day can be celebrated by cuddling a pig, reading literature about the animal – or by consuming the animal’s meat.