by Larry Smith
A recent spate of animal stories has unexpectedly highlighted the bad governance issues that are harming our country.
First we had the demise of a certain number of the celebrated ‘swimming pigs’ of Big Major Cay in the Exumas.
Despite the various fanciful origin theories offered on Wikipedia, these pigs were actually put on the cay by a Staniel Cay family following hurricanes in the 1990s. And there is a constant ‘turnover' that no-one talks about.
Since there is very little forage or fresh water on the cay for a passel of hogs (as such a grouping is known), the animals began to hang out on the beach begging food from passing boaters.
And in recent years, the stranded pigs have become a huge tourist attraction, with excursion boats from Nassau and the Exumas charging as much as $400 per head for a day trip. Tour operators have even taken to re-stocking the island with piglets from time to time.
Photos and video of pigs swimming up to boaters in the crystal clear Bahamian sea framed by a white sand beach turn up on social media frequently, and have been featured on news shows and in newspapers across Europe and North America.
It’s good publicity - something the Bahamas rarely gets these days. So when tales surfaced in late February that seven of the 22 swimming pigs had been found dead, there was an immediate uproar.